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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 10 Jun 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Why Do Some Saudi Women Develop Psychological Problems?

By Boshra Faisal Al-Sebaee

Jun 10, 2016

MANY Saudi women visit psychiatrists and sheikhs who recite certain parts of the Holy Qur’an and use supplications as a means of treating sickness and other problems. People who discriminate against women consider the large number of women who go to psychiatrists and sheikhs a normal thing because, in their opinion, women are inferior to men and are hysterical and nervous by nature. However, scientific studies show that claims that women are hysterical are baseless.

Professor Abdullah Al-Sebaee, who has chaired psychiatry departments at a number of Saudi universities and hospitals, says the real reason behind such visits is something else. On his Twitter account, he said: “Every day I realize more and more that Saudi women are more oppressed than women in other parts of the world. It is sad that these negative practices are taking place in a Muslim society.”

All his words are true. Saudi women and girls face a lot of pressure and mistreatment, more than most people can imagine. Many families do not allow girls to go to college and deprive them of their rights to pursue education and their dreams. Many girls are not allowed to have cell phones or use the Internet and are being forced to work as maids for the male members of their families, even the younger ones. They are not allowed to go out with their friends and have to beg if they want anything.

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, a renowned scholar, said women should not be forced to stay at home and prevented from going out. People who do this to women are actually humiliating them and depriving them of the right to continue education and be hopeful about the future.

That is why many young women do not want to get married because they do not see any difference in their situations before or after marriage, since even their husbands would force them to stay at home. Unfortunately, many families force their daughters to get married to the suitor who pays the highest dowry even if he is years older than her and has other wives. This is the reason why many young women suffer from psychological problems; think about committing suicide or running away from home. 

We need to raise public awareness about the way women are treated and explain to them that such mistreatment can make any human being, man or woman, develop severe psychological problems.