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Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

Old Mar 13th 2004, 4:31 pm
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JDB
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Default Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

I have been offered a job in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah). But I am not sure whether to take it as I am a young single female and I keep being told not very nice things about women and the way they get treated over there, Anyone know anything about that? I keep being told that women are not allowed to associate with men who are not immediate family or husband, that they have to be in a long skirt and long sleeved top that covers there neck, that they are no allowed to go outside of the house by themselves they have to be with a male (who has to be family or a written permission) and many other things. Hope some of you can help me with the myth and truth of all this!

Last edited by JDB; Mar 14th 2004 at 6:55 am.
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Old Mar 13th 2004, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

Originally posted by JDB
I have been offered a job in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah). But I am not sure whether to take it or not as I keep being told not very nice things about women and the way they get treated over there, Anyone know anything about that? I keep being told that women are not allowed to associate with men who are not immediate family or husband, that they have to be in a long skirt and long sleeved top that covers there neck, that they are no allowed to go outside of the house by themselves they have to be with a male (who has to be family or a written permission) and many other things. Hope some of you can help me with the myth and truth of all this!
I worked in Saudi Arabia a couple of years ago for a number of months. Unfortunately everything in your post is true, although not sure that women are not allowed out of the house on their own. In addition women are not allowed to drive, they have to be segregated from the men in restaurants; it's a very restricted lifestyle and one that I would not recommend. That said, there were quite a few British women working in the hospitals that I visited, so it can't be all bad.

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Old Mar 13th 2004, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

Originally posted by JDB
I have been offered a job in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah). But I am not sure whether to take it or not as I keep being told not very nice things about women and the way they get treated over there, Anyone know anything about that? I keep being told that women are not allowed to associate with men who are not immediate family or husband, that they have to be in a long skirt and long sleeved top that covers there neck, that they are no allowed to go outside of the house by themselves they have to be with a male (who has to be family or a written permission) and many other things. Hope some of you can help me with the myth and truth of all this!

Hello there,

Am sure you will agree that everyones culture should be respected, and if you decide to take the job there, you wil have to respect the way of life there.

America has a way of life that they expect everyone that comes to their country to abide by. You can also complain about the way women are treated in some multi-national companies, and in politics in the US. What are the chances of a woman becoming the head of state?

You have to make that decision yourself, what someone else went might be different to what you are going to encounter.

Good luck in your decision
 
Old Mar 13th 2004, 10:37 pm
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I know a couple of women who lived in Saudi.

One was working in a hospital lab for a couple of years and said on the whole she didn't mind living there; she loved the tax-free salary. There were a lot of parties amongst the expat community in their houses and apartments - with illegal home-brewed alcohol freely available, but obviously they knew they were taking a great risk in case they were caught. My friend said that it was a wonder that the authorities didn't get suspicious with the high rate of consumption of sugar and molasses being sold in the supermarkets to the expats!

Another expat I knew lived there for five years. She lived on a compound owned by an oil company....and she also quite enjoyed living there; however her husband was earning a fortune so she felt it was worth it so they could get a lovely home in a few years. Their compound had swimming pools, squash and tennis courts and a clubhouse (no alcohol!). She had a busy social life, playing bridge and mahjong with all the other wives and raising her young children, and was an avid reader and enjoyed painting, sewing and embroidery. She never felt that her life was overly restrictive and they had lots of r&r breaks. In the hottest Summer months all the expat wives and their families would go on 'home leave' for a couple of months to visit their parents and siblings. (Most expats based in the Middle East and Far East do this when the schools break up for the Summer hols).

I would think that some wives would find this kind of life in Saudi Arabia stultifying, especially if they've had an active career back home. On the other hand, for those wives who want to take a few years out of the workforce, maybe to spend time with young children (unless they find work in a hospital in Saudi or teach in an expat school) it's do-able if the wife gets a lot of support from her spouse and his employer.

Last edited by Englishmum; Mar 13th 2004 at 10:42 pm.
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Old Mar 14th 2004, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

Originally posted by mickj
Hello there,

Am sure you will agree that everyones culture should be respected, and if you decide to take the job there, you wil have to respect the way of life there.

America has a way of life that they expect everyone that comes to their country to abide by. You can also complain about the way women are treated in some multi-national companies, and in politics in the US. What are the chances of a woman becoming the head of state?

You have to make that decision yourself, what someone else went might be different to what you are going to encounter.

Good luck in your decision

Well said!
 
Old Mar 14th 2004, 8:31 pm
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Well said mickj.

Definately Saudi Arabia will be a major change in lifestyle for anyone coming down from Western countries. Lived there for 14 years and didnt enjoy any of it as I wasnt living close to the expat community, so my advise is to make sure that you live in a compound where expats live or else in an area which has a large volume of expats, because you will need that type of environment in order to not feel homesick after a few days.
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Old Mar 15th 2004, 2:10 am
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I love how people come to our country and bitch.

You know, just be happy all the FREEDOMS you DO have. Including the freedom to bitch.

Let's see you go to countries like Saudi Arabia and try act the way you do here.

People take the US so much for granted it ain't funny. Most of the people in the rest of the world WISH they could have the freedoms we have here.

-= nav =-
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Old Mar 17th 2004, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Women treatment in Saudi Arabia?

My wife and I lived in Riyadh for many years until last year.

Life for single women is definitely harder than for married women. You can go out by yourself, but it's better if you go in a group to avoid the occasional mild harrassment. I've known many single women who have enjoyed being out there for years, but they were nurses or teachers who had lots of colleagues to go out with and share taxis with.

You didn't say what the school was. The British or major Western expat schools are usually excellent. However be very wary of smaller private establishments - they can be very poor to work for.

BTW, I just came across this blog by a Saudi guy who has some quite amusing insights - he's obviously v. educated and westernised which not many of them are.

http://muttawa.blogspot.com/
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