Women in Africa and the Middle East Essay

1037 Words May 2nd, 2008 5 Pages
Women In The Middle East And Africa
Gender inequality has maintained the suppression of women worldwide and unfortunately has impacted third world countries with the greatest magnitude. Everyday in these countries there are countless occurrences of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse that must be acknowledged as a primary concern for the world to help overcome. It is however important to recognize specific cultural and religious practices of gender hierarchy that are accepted by women in these countries. While keeping this in mind it is of paramount importance to keep sight of the consequences of abusing these cultural practices at the expense of women’s liberation and development.
Ever since the beginning of mankind, women
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The problems of Middle Eastern women remain acute. Islamic, Christian, and Jewish jurists and theologians—all of them males—have provided Middle Eastern society with the most exclusivist and conservative interpretations of religious laws, which have burdened women in the family, the society, and the state. The top position in government, according to strict Islamic laws, is denied to women based on a dubious Hadith (collections of sayings and deeds attributed to Muhammad). According to the Antiparliamentary Union, the political representation of women in parliaments in Arab nations lags behind all other countries of the world, and Kuwait has yet to grant women the right to vote. Yet, Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey have all been led by women. In Israel, a woman (Golda Meir) once headed the government, although the political elite has been almost exclusively of males since the creation of the state.
Another area of special concern in Africa is the issue of female circumcision, also known as genital mutilation. Only one country in Africa, Burkina Faso, has passed laws against female genital mutilations, and actively upholds those laws. In thirteen other countries, people who promote or practice genital mutilation can receive jail time, but the laws are often ignored. In addition, twenty-eight other countries still condone the practice. It is estimated that at least 130 million African women have already undergone this practice, and two million more

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