The Status of women in the Arab Gulf Countries
By Dr. Nourah Al-Yousef Associate Professor of Economics/ King Saud University An Economic Consultant to the General Secretary of the GCC Secretariat.
It is a great honor to address such a distinguished gathering under the dome of the German Parliament.
In the next few minutes I will try to give description of women status in the Gulf Region, and their economic participation. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet which are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties. Islam established a woman’s equality in her humanity with men; neither gender can be superior because it would be a contradiction to equality. Islam also, recognizes and fosters the natural differences between men and women despite their equality. This is no way diminishes either’s efforts or benefits. God will reward both sexes equally for the value of their work, through, it may not necessarily be the same activity. Political Rights A right given to Muslim women by God 1400 years ago is the right to vote. On any public matter, a woman may voice her opinion and participate in politics. This established the right of women to select their leader and publicly declare so. Finally, Islam does not forbid a woman from holding important positions in government which suit her role as a woman. Abdurrahman Ibn Affan consulted many women before he recommended Uthman Ibn Affan to be the Caliph. Economic Rights: Muslim women have the privilege to earn money, the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business and no one has any claim on her earnings, including her husband. Civil Rights: In Islam, a woman has the basic freedoms of choice and expression based on recognition of her individual personality. First, she is free to choose her religion and Women are encouraged in Islam to contribute...