The Status of Women in Saudi Arabia

Samar Fatany, Arab News

There is no doubt that the status of women in Saudi Arabia has been controversial for a long time. After Sept. 11, the controversy intensified since Saudi Arabia was the main focus of blame for the attacks. Saudi women were portrayed in the US media as being abused and disrespected by an extremist religious ideology.

While we Saudis admit that the status of women in our country has not been what we would have desired, we cannot agree with the idea that Saudi women are underprivileged and oppressed. The Saudi mother is a highly respected member of the family. According to a saying by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “Heaven is under the feet of mothers.”

Samar Fatany has another excellent article in today’s Arab News. I recommend reading it to see where Saudi women believe themselves to be in their quest for political and economic rights. I find it noteworthy, too, as she concludes:

Islamic scholars are actively advocating tolerance and moderation. Hard-liners have been removed in an effort to protect Saudi society from extremist ideologies, narrow-mindedness and discrimination against women.

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