A Battle Against Stereotypes: Role Of Arab Women In The Gcc Countries

1870 words - 7 pages

It is believed that Arab women are pitiful creatures who follow their husbands like a dark shadow, is forced to remain silent and obey their husbands at all times, and is granted a body only to deliver more children, perhaps more in competition with her husband's other wives. The typical Arab wife, as perceived by the mass media, has no real say in the running of the household and that it is the men who decide on each and every issue. However, there is an astonishing mismatch between the actual lives of Arab women and the image setup by the media. Because of the medias, so to speak, "actual" image, stereotype spins uncontrollably, becoming wild and absurd. Thus arises a question asked by many people who believe on the lives that have been represented by the American Media.In what way are Arab women in GCC countries battling stereotypes in education, family, workplace as well as politics, but yet they wish to keep their identity with the hijab as well as create a niche for themselves in the world?"Probably no other single subject is closer to the heart of the numerousmisunderstandings that many Americans and other Westerners have of Arabs and Muslims than that, which pertains to the position and role of women in Araband Islamic society." (Anthony, Dr. John Duke)The image portrayed is not only humiliating and wrong rather it's ridiculous. Approximately 1400 years ago, Muslim women started their liberation with the rise of Prophet Mohammed, which brought a major change in the way women, whether Muslim or no, should be treated and respected. Islamic women have been born with the rights that the western women now seek - "spiritual and cultural" At that time, while Muslim Women that they had a soul, Christianity was trying to conclude regard a women's spirit. (Al-Hegelan, N) Muslim women had their own identity along with freedom. The liberation of Muslim women did not start one fine day, rather, Arab women had to go through a lot of cruelty and discrimination that varied from culture to culture such as burial of newly born daughters, as daughters were considered a liability and shame on a family. Women were regarded as objects that could be exchanged or sold for a fee. Islam puts both the genders on a balanced and equal level.Arab Women in EducationThe Arab population is approximately 150 million. Arabs are currently experiencing a major change - they are trying to develop their society in order to be connected with the 'modern era'. The initial stage is education with the inclusion of women. "Women comprise half of the total population, and their contribution to the nation building process is a must." (Al-Qazzat, A).Thus in order to keep up with the pace of the ever-changing world, it is vital to include Arab women in the work force. Not only does it benefit the work force with variety, it also is an important way to increase the status of the country. Since the illiteracy rate was high, Arab women were able to join schools, with the support of the...

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