Women in Saudi Arabia





The Middle East is an incredibly complex region that is often associated with conflict. Much of that conflict stems from the multiple identities that both exist within a single person and exist as groups in a relatively small geographic area. Identities could be shaped by gender, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, sexuality, among others, and are constantly changing. In this assignment, you are going to analyze the recent changes being experienced in Saudi Arabia with regard to some of the most restrictive gender laws of any country on Earth. Of particular interest is going to be the idea that the new changes are purely ceremonial and do not actually mean anything for the women of Saudi Arabia. Please answer all questions in a new word document or pdf (any other file type will receive 0) and submit them to Canvas. The file name should be Lastname_Assignment4.docxThe following articles will be helpful resources when answering the questions: Human Rights Watch (HRW) article (start here and read Summary through Time is Now, then skip to The Religious Establishment) https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/07/16/boxed/women-and-saudi-arabias-male-guardianship-systemHRW article https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/30/saudi-arabia-1…Amnesty International article https://www.amnestyusa.org/saudi-arabia-continues-crackdown-on-women/ BBC article https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-1881354… 1. Gender is often defined as the roles assigned to the sexes by society, but what does that actually mean? Using the articles, describe what society says women should do in Saudi Arabia by discussing some of the restrictions being imposed. How does society enforce gender roles? 2. It is easy to make the assumption that everyone accepts Saudi culture as it is, but there have been many protests in the last 5 years. How are protesters treated? What changes have been made? Explain how the new changes may not help. 3. Some people argue that the changes in gender-specific laws are actually meant to distract from other things being done by Crown Prince Salman. Using a Google search, describe at least one controversy the Crown Prince has been involved with recently. It is fun to speculate, so do you think the changes in the laws are meant to be a distraction, or is he genuinely concerned about gender equality. 4. History was made in 2012 when Saudi Arabia sent two women athletes to the Olympics for the first time. Based on everything you’ve read, do you think this is more symbolic and lacking substance, or is it a remarkable step forward for gender equality? Explain.






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