Thursday, 31 December 2015

Why are “ladies always first” in Saudi Arabia?

We all have to accept that the status of women in the Kingdom has changed not only abruptly, but also significantly. Till a few years ago, there was always a conflict on how the women within the Kingdom are treated by their government and more importantly by their men. If we look past history, all the rights and regulations for them are directly or indirectly connected to their male Mahram. Without his consent, the Saudi woman has nothing. Over the years, there have been certain changes that have remarked and perhaps somewhat altered with history. Now, women in the Kingdom are given the liberty to work and have more rights available than before.

Despite the fact that women are now looked upon as equal members of the society, there will always be some things that won’t change. Out of courtesy, we derived the phrase of “ladies first”. Whether you go out for a dinner and you must open a door, you would always ask a lady to go first and the man would follow behind. A similar culture arose in the Kingdom and it was followed as well. In the Kingdom, however, it is different. Here, you won’t find men saying “ladies first!”, but instead the women of the Kingdom will impose this far better than anyone else. You won’t find anyone better who would use this phrase and improvise it over the rest more than the Saudi women.

If you are in the Kingdom, women will not be allowed to make queues. If you find a woman in any line, remember that it’s time you say goodbye to your spot as you will be instantly replaced by the Saudi woman no matter how long you’ve been waiting trying to reach the front of the desk. Here, you won’t even be asked whether you can let the lady take your place, you’ll simply be pushed back. In between this if you even pull a frown on your face, you’ll be victimized to a number of taunts.

The better option is to move back and continue the wait. If you look at other countries, you will most certainly see that women and men are treated equally and that means they wait for their turn equally. Who can one blame for this attitude of the Saudi women? Do they fully use the excuse because we let them or perhaps because it’s too late for them to learn to wait? When you think of the Saudi woman, you’ll automatically think that they are restricted to homes and taking care of children.

If they do manage to step outside, they must immediately return home and take care of their children. We promote a culture and then we complain. It’s absolutely fine for them to follow the motto of “ladies first” while in the Kingdom, but when they are abroad they should know that there you’ll be just as any other and you won’t be ignored like back home.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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