Changed Face of Middle East Patriarchal Culture for Accepting Women in Military : Openness of Saudi Arabia

Yosephine Michelle - Reuters - UN Women

(REUTERS) 27 October 2020, for many years the participation of women in some Middle Eastern countries’ public sectors had been considered as taboo and not suitable for patriarchal culture.

But fortunately, Arab armies have been more open with women in the field. As Carnegie Middle East Centre has stated in their website “...gradually changing, and even a country with significant patriarchal norms and strict gender segregation, such as Saudi Arabia, has allowed for the recruitment of women in the military as border guards.”


The good news has emerged since October 2019, when the government has decided to release new regulations that hopefully could give advantages to women. First the government decided that Saudi Arabian women could drive without any male guard, because it used to be mandatory to be guarded by male as the car driver. Moreover, the government has allowed women to join the Saudi Arabia military.


Those new regulations have given a new portion of women in Arab to be self guarded and be independent. Moreover, they could learn how to protect themself from any kind of insecurities such as physical abuse, mentally abuse, sexual violence and other assaults. Moreover, the domestic violence against women in Saudi Arabia has remained high, but with the new regulation issued, women could learn how to self defense.


But then with the word being said by the government, the practice of the regulation has still been hard for even the women itself. The qualification for women to get to this industry has been quite tough and tight. Reported by Al Arabiya, they have been required to have a highschool diploma, have a height no less than 155 cm, and should be 25-35 years old.


Moreover, even if the regulation has been officially announced, it has still not been thorough to every stakeholders within the country. “ I reported it and the police came to convince me to drop the charges while my abuser sat with them.” wrote a Saudi Arabian woman on twitter.

Therefore, even if the regulation has already been binding, the appliance should have also been managed. So then, it could be more thorough and truly pursued by all actors within the countries.