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Women in the Middle East

Powerful Essays
In the book, Women in the Middle East, a Saudi Arabian proverb states, "A girl possesses nothing but a veil and a tomb" (Harik and Marston 83). The key words, "veil" and "tomb" lend evidence to the fact that many Middle Eastern women lack identity symbolized by the “veil” and lack the right of ownership except for their veil and the tomb. This statement further enforces the notion that many women in the Middle East are expected to serve and tolerate the oppression of the men in their lives throughout their lives on this earth. Moreover, it confirms that many of these women do not get the opportunity to obtain education, join the work force, and even participate in the political affairs of the country. This arrangement further helps the Middle Eastern men to view women as their properties, servants, or even as slaves. Ultimately, there are three main reasons why Middle Eastern men engage in the act of oppressing their women.

One primary reason why Middle Eastern men oppress women is their deeply rooted belief system as well as their needs. For example, their belief that the Middle Eastern woman’s duty is being a dedicated homemaker encourages them to disallow her from seeking an education. Ramsay M. Harik and Elsa Martson, revisit this concept in their book, Woman in the Middle East, as they state that many males convince their women that education is unnecessary nor relevant to their household responsibilities. "The girl will spend her life cooking and having babies, why does she need to read or write? This was a common attitude in much of the Middle East until the last fifty years or so" (24). The common consensus was that once educated, these women would question many of the injustices suffered, would demand better treatment...

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...emale relative is justifiable if she brings dishonor to the family" (86)... Many women do not stand up for their rights because they are scared from death; since many men killed women without feeling sympathy or without fearing from the consequences of laws. Therefore, laws are just another cause of the oppression of women.

Middle Eastern women need to stand up for their rights and get educated to reverse the notion that they are servants and properties of their men. Furthermore, they need to rise up to their potentials and prove beyond doubt that they are equal to men. This practice would lead the path for future generations to follow and protect the inalienable rights of women. Finally, these women need to break the cycle of oppression by addressing these deeply rooted beliefs, gaining the tools to fight back, and joining forces to make lifelong changes.
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