In this essay I focus on women in Saudi Arabia, who live in perhaps one of the most socially conservative countries when it comes to women’s rights. For example, Nimrod Raphaeli describes the daily lives of Saudi women in the following way, “women can not work without the permission of a responsible man in the family, cannot drive a car, and cannot go to a restaurant alone,” he goes on to descried how these rules are enforced by the “Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue Police,” commonly referred to as the “religious police” (Raphaeli 2005, 526). Nevertheless, in the following paragraphs I demonstrate that women have found a way to navigate a religious and political climate that attempts to control most aspects of their daily life; and now with a growing push for social reform women in Saudi Arabia have begun to fight back against the religious, political, and social norms that limit them and reclaim both politics and Islam for themselves. I content that despite the existing assumptions and evidences that in Saudi Arabia women’s rights are circumscribed, Saudi Arabian women actively challenge these existing gender inequities, and are engaged in reclaiming their identity and defining their own lives on their own terms.
"The Politics of Religion: Women, Islam and Politics in Saudi Arabia,"
Spectrum: Vol. 4:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholars.unh.edu/spectrum/vol4/iss1/3