In its latest so-called move and initiative towards women’s development, the ultra-conservative society of Saudi Arabia is now taking a step ahead by providing women with an opportunity to pursue their working careers. The country plans to build a new city exclusively for women as it bids to combine strict Sharia law and career minded females.
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has been asked to initiate the construction of this city which will provide job opportunities to pursue their career in the fields of textile, pharmaceutical and food processing.
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With a massive expenditure of 500 million riyals that will be used to construct this city, the kingdom of Saudi intends to give women a chance of taking part in the economic process without defying the country’s Islamic laws.
So far, so good. Anyone reading about this city will develop an impression that Saudis are acknowledging women as an integral part of their society. But, before you feel too overwhelmed, let’s just have a look at the dark side of things.
Upon analysis of the entire situation it can actually be realized that the initiative of building a city only for women is nothing more than a means of further isolating and regressing the state and position of women in the country. Just imagine, how can a city where you only have women, all clad in ‘burqa’ with no male interaction or communication taking place help in allowing women to play any kind of developmental role for the country.
Providing them a separate area or city to work does not make them progress, instead it reinforces their position as subordinates and inferiors in the society since they are completely segregated from the other half or more than half of the male population. If Saudi government talks about the developmental role of women in their society, someone needs to tell them that before development you need to give women a status and position of equality.
You need to provide them with the liberty of doing all things that they cannot do at present such as shopping on their own and driving. Once the status of equality is established, development will automatically follow.
It does not need support of massive investments or construction of separate cities. But, nonetheless it is worth implementing if you do need a new breed of women slaves to stabilize your position in global textile and pharmaceutical markets.
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