Women In Middle Eastern Countries Paper

705 words - 3 pages

Magazine Article Life away from home Imagine Living somewhere, and having no rights as a woman. Imagine being someone's property, treated like an object for your whole life. Imagine being bashed by your own husband, which is perfectly legal, for giving your own opinion. These are just a few of the differences between our lives and those of the women in many Middle-Eastern Countries.The Islam religion, and the Koran, has many strict "rules", especially for women. The men are seen as superior, and are the "overseers" of the women. This means that in marriage, the wives are expected to obey their husbands every command. If the marriage is against the family's wishes, or the wife disobeys (usually cheating on him; sexual indiscretion), she may be murdered by her husband or a male relative. These are called honour killings, in which the killers are punished lightly, if at all. The legal age to get married is 9 for girls and 14 for boys. In this case, most of us would already be married, and probably not out of our own will. Men are also allowed to have up to four wives, the women, only one.It is far harder for a wife to divorce his husband, but easy for the husband to divorce her. Some times he can say "I divorce you" three times, and they are released form their vows immediately. Often women are stuck in bad marriages, as the fear of poverty and loss of children over rule their decision. Usually, the husband wins custody of the children and most possessions, even if they were hers to start with. In some cases, if a child's father died, custody would go to his closest living relative, not the mother.The Koran allocates daughters with half the amount that a son would get as inheritance. In a court room, a man's testimony is more important that a woman's, even if she knew more than him, and under Shari'a, (Muslim law) compensation for the murder of a woman is half the amount of a mans.Their lives are filled with danger, ranging from war, disease (especially unhygienic foods, dirty streets, houses, contaminated water, etc) being abducted, raped (cases often have to be proved by other men who witnessed it, which means that most women involved are scarred for life, knowing the culprit can strike anyone). Sometimes businesses are lost, as the government comes and takes all items (eg shops selling clothes or food) as they are needed for soldiers going to war. To us, its just like stealing, as the owners receive no compensation and are left with no money, and often forced into poverty.Many middle-eastern countries imply the strict rule of women covering themselves. The Koran instructs women to "guard their modesty", not to "display their beauty and ornaments", so to not arouse the lust of men, other than their husbands. This law is different in every country, with the women of Iran and Sudan allowed to show the face only. Police often patrol streets, checking clothing; sometimes beating women with sticks for various reasons. Believe it or not, some women prefer wearing it, either because they actually like them or because they stop hassles, and unwanted gazes from men. In some countries it is technically optional to cover yourself.To the Islamic women, things like this are normal, acceptable. Most of the time they will believe that it is right. Many who live there are forced to, and need their husband's permission to leave the county. Many haven't experienced anywhere else, and so don't know what life could be like.But for us, knowing these things are wrong and being brought up in a highly evolved country, it is hard to imagine ourselves in their position.


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