Interview: Saudi Women's Role in Respect

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[. . .] Furthermore, the radical transformations and sacrifices required to transcend this contradiction are either undesirable or unbearable." (2004)

The work of Moghadam (2003) reports that the Muslim society holds that women are "different beings - different often meaning inferior in legal status and rights -- which strengthens social barriers to women's achievement. In the realm of education and employment, not only is it believed that women do not have the same interests as men and will therefore avoid men's activities, but also care is exercised to make sure they cannot prepare for roles considered inappropriate. Women's reproductive function or religious norms have been used to justify their segregation in public, their restriction to the home, and their lack of civil and legal rights." Moghadam (2003) goes on to state "As women play a crucial role in the socialization of the next generation, they become symbols of cultural values and traditions. Some Muslim women regard this role as an exalted one, and they gladly assume it, becoming active participants, in some cases ideologues, in Islamist movements. Other women find it an onerous burden; they resent restrictions on their autonomy, individuality, mobility, and range of choices." Mrs. K is of the age that appears to resent outside social influences intrusion upon her family life. Mrs. K values her family and home life and appears to hold it as a sacred part of her life that should be guarded from the outside world.

It is reported that a bill was passed in February of 2009, which set the minimum age for marriage at 17 years of age however, this bill is reported to have been rejected by the Shari'ah Codification Committee, which said it was unIslamic. (Musawah Vision, 2010) However, it is additionally reported that the Saudi Arabian state recently intervened in the marriage of a preteen girl to an older man…" and this has led to speculation that there may soon be a ban in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to child marriage. (Musawah Vision, 2010) It is reported that Saudi Arabia is planning to legislate the right of women lawyers to argue cases in Saudi Arabian courts and in addition the Supreme Constitutional Court is stated to have approved the right of women to receive appointments as judges in the State Council. (Musawah Vision, 2010, paraphrased)

Research Process Analysis

The method used in this study was an interpretive, naturalistic study, which was guided by the constructivist research methodology, which has as its emphasis understanding the meanings that are made of the phenomenon. Social construct theory, which is one of two constructivist theories, is the source of the theoretical bases through which the method in this study was applied and the data of the study interpreted. The religion and culture in Saudi Arabia serves to shape the attitudes, practices and behaviors of people and as well serves to shape the way that people in the Saudi society act, as well as their perspective and how they perceive their own lives.

This study was in the form of an ethnography, which has as its purpose the production of a written description of the way of life of a person along with their beliefs and daily pursuits. The interview with Mrs. K went well and she was very communicative and informative. The interviewee, Mrs. K responded naturally and in a relaxed manner to questions that were asked of her. The interview was interpreted by the researcher through examination of literature in this area of study or specifically in the study of Saudi society, the role of women and the changing roles of women in the Saudi society.

The literature reviewed in this study has demonstrated that there are multiple views of Saudi women in regards to their role and their function in the family and society. Older women are more accepting of their roles as they were not on the receiving end of Western ideals and values during their childhood and adolescence as are today's young women in the society and specifically messages they receive via media communications. Mrs. K. related being very content with her role in the family as the mother and primary caregiver to her children and while she did work while her older children were younger, she expresses regret at having done so because she is not as close to her older children as she is to her younger children, four of which still reside with her at home.

The literature reviewed in this study has informed the study that the roles of women in Saudi society are undergoing change as women are being brought to the forefront of society and specifically engaging Saudi women in the political sector of the society.


This study involved the interview of a Saudi Arabian woman on her role in the Saudi Arabian society and her role in family life in the Saudi household. As noted in the analysis of this study, Mrs. K, the interviewee, expressed satisfaction with her role in her life as a mother, wife, and community member. Mrs. K recalls a childhood in which women were freer to interact with male members of society and in which women were free to roam and explore the countryside. Mrs. K describes her earlier years of marriage and motherhood to have been characterized by her role as a working mother and states that she has regrets for having taken this path rather than remaining home with her children as she presently does.

The role of Saudi women has been historically and traditionally defined as one that is subservient to men and one in which they are far less vested with the rights and privileges afforded to men in the Saudi society. According to Mrs. K, the intrusion of media communication into the Saudi society has resulted in great harm however, as demonstrated by the literature reviewed in this study there are a great many women in the Saudi society who do not see the media communications from the Western world as an intrusion and who are actively fighting for the same rights for women as men possess in the Saudi society.

This study has assisted the researcher in understanding not only the role of women in the Saudi society and how that role is undergoing transformation but as well this study has enabled the researcher to understand that there is more than one view held by Saudi women in regards to equality and societal participation in that all Saudi women do not desire for [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Interview:

APA Format

Saudi Women's Role in Respect.  (2010, November 19).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Saudi Women's Role in Respect."  19 November 2010.  Web.  16 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Saudi Women's Role in Respect."  November 19, 2010.  Accessed June 16, 2019.