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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 3 Feb 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Saudi Women Are Shackled By Social Traditions

By Ali Al-Mousa

Feb 3, 2017

SOME ancient Chinese tribes considered small feet to be a yardstick for measuring women’s beauty. That is why custom demanded that the feet of young girls be painfully bound in order to change the shape of their feet. Over time, this caused harm to women who had to shuffle when they walked. Most women could not walk alone and needed their husbands to support them so that they would not fall.

Anthropologically speaking, many cultures have treated women differently and have put shackles on them. For example, women in some parts of Africa were only allowed to eat raw uncooked meat. No vegetables or any type of grains were allowed. As a result, it is said that they became ferocious like tigers and that men were afraid of them.

Women in Saudi culture have also faced obstacles and continue to do so. These obstacles have made women dependent on men. Every Saudi man has two jobs, one for which he gets paid a monthly salary and the second involves providing for his wife, driving her around, etc. Because of local traditions, a woman’s innate ability to produce and be independent has not been utilized.

Without a man, a woman in Saudi Arabia cannot go alone to buy groceries. Ours is the only culture in which men spend most of their time performing the tasks women should be doing. This is because women have been shackled by traditions. One day, we will discover that more Saudi women suffer from depression than men and that one out of every three married women takes anti-depressant tablets.

A large number of Saudi women are obese because they sit for hours and do not go out due to social traditions that prevent them from doing so. Some women have been living in neighbourhoods for years but do not know their way around the area or the names of streets.

Moreover, studies conclusively show that Saudi women suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which is thought to be a cause of autism in children. This is really strange, given that our climate is hot and sunlight is the main source of vitamin D.