Saudi Arabia follows the apartheid system in its treatment of women. The apartheid system resembles that of South African treatment of non whites in many ways. Gender based apartheid speaks of disproportionateness in trivial and fundamental things such as education, legal rights, unequal rights to property and jobs and restrictions imposed on freedom movements by women. However the stereotype notions that claim Islamic women are uneducated and hold absolutely no rights are exaggerated verdicts propagated out of ignorance by the West. Ergo, one can’t rule out the fact that women in Saudi Arabia encounter obstacles in proving who they are and are mostly considered as sub-ordinates to their men. They are named as “dependents” on their male guardian cards. (Jensen, 2005)
Women are allowed to have their own identity card with their respective photographs but this is possible only when she hits twenty-two and is expected to present the written consent of her guardian along with her employer’s consent if she is working under him. This liberty allocated to women did meet criticism by the Conservatists in various factions of the Arabian society. Similarly various resolutions calling for more employment opportunities and active involvement of women in politics has come across fierce resistance by different other segments of the society. The male segment of the society has been more pronounced in voicing out their disapproval of such liberties granted to women henceforth. Other institutes include labor ministry, religious police etc. Such influences have made women development in Arab countries a snail paced phenomenon. Various factions of the society argue and point out that as per Shariah women should stay at home and be thoroughly involved in nurturing and taking care of the family. Women hence have been subjected to segregated restrictions in this country both in the cultural as well religious contexts. It should be noted that women in Saudi Arabia have not been sanctioned from seeking employment.
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