Den arabiske halvøy

En blogg om Den arabiske halvøy med fokus på Saudi-Arabia og Jemen

En blogg om hva som skjer i gulfen, både analyser, nyheter og trivialiteter. Er ment å være et supplement til dem som er interessert i området og som ønsker en litt dypere og bredere dekning enn det norsk media gir. Hovedfokuset er på Saudi-Arabia og Jemen.

Saudi-Arabia: Kvinnesakskamp debattert av menn uten skrupler

Menneskerettigheter og kvinnesakskamp har vært en gjennganger her på denne bloggen. Når fokus er rettet mot land som Saudi-Arabia og Jemen så er det ikke så rart, det er i det hele mangler på begge områder på hele Den arabiske halvøy. Saker hvor religiøse utdannede menn ikke vil la kvinner jobbe gjentar seg stadig. I dag leste jeg et leserinnlegg, tittulert For those who want to confine women i avisen Saudi-Gazette. Med en slik tittel skulle man anta at denne skribenten ville kjempe for kvinners rett til å kunne frigjøre seg ved hjelp av jobb, kontroll over eget liv osv. I stedet beskylder han grupper som ønsker kvinner ut i arbeidslivet for å gjøre dette kun av en grunn, slik at man kan trakkasere dem seksuelt.
A certain group in society has recently said women should be employed in jobs that put them in direct contact with men and are unsuitable to their natures. This group has claimed this will help lower women’s unemployment and ensure that they can be financially independent. In reality, however, this group wants to confine women in a place where they can take advantage of them
Avsnittet over er innledningen på kronikken. Denne måten å argumentere på er vanlig blant grupper i det saudiske samfunnet som ønsker å begrense kvinners makt. For over et år siden ble denne videoen postet her på bloggen, en video som ennå er aktuell. Den er laget av Amnesty og viser på en ironisk måte hvordan mange menn ønsker at kvinner skal oppføre seg. Ellers vil det bli konsekvenser.

Denne gangen velger jeg, istedenfor å gjengi deler av leserinnlegget, å publisere hele innlegget her på bloggen. Så kan dere selv se hvordan man forsøker å argumentere for å begrense kvinners frihet ved å bruke argumenter om at man bare ønsker "å beskytte dem". God lesning. Og husk, du bør lese kommentarene under innlegget også, hvor forfatteren får skryt.

For those who want to confine women

Abdullah Munawar Al-Jamili
Al-Madinah newspaper

A certain group in society has recently said women should be employed in jobs that put them in direct contact with men and are unsuitable to their natures. This group has claimed this will help lower women’s unemployment and ensure that they can be financially independent. In reality, however, this group wants to confine women in a place where they can take advantage of them.

I hope no one will object to me citing the example of women in the West. Despite the openness and liberty enjoyed by Westerners, sexual harassment of women is a rising phenomenon regardless of the countless laws and punishments that await perpetrators.

Such is the plight of women in these countries that they appear in sexually provocative advertisements and even as bartenders serving men!

Here is another example that is close to us. During the end of the 20th century, there were calls in Egypt to attract the “honorable and chaste” Egyptian woman to work. These calls culminated in an event in which women demonstrators publicly burned the Hijab (veil) on March 20, 1919.

Further calls for women’s employment continued through movies and other media outlets always under the slogan of “freedom and sustenance.” The latter was used to employ women in pornographic activities.

Today Muslim Egyptian women are returning to the Hijab but they are still suffering from alarming high levels of verbal and physical harassment. According to a report recently issued by the Egyptian Center for Women Rights, 2010 witnessed a remarkable rise in assault and sexual harassment cases involving women.

The report said out of a total of 1,300 crimes committed against women, 933 or 71 percent were physical harassment crimes. Not only this but 72 percent of married and 94 percent of unmarried women were reportedly subjected to sexual harassment on public transportation, streets and other crowded places.

Women no doubt represent half of society and the breeder of its other half. She is an effective partner in the development and progress of society. We absolutely respect her right to work but asking her to do jobs not suitable to her nature will make her an easy prey for human wolves. We should not copy the examples of societies which called for the employment of women at any cost only to suffer the painful consequences years later.

Lastly, the renowned British academic and feminist Germaine Greer, who was a staunch supporter of equality between men and women, recently backed off from some of her ideas. She admitted that there were basic differences between the two genders and said giving a woman her rights did not mean sacrificing her femininity. Why don’t we benefit from the experiences of the others and start from where they ended?