Traditions & customsShackles enchain women participation in building economy [Archives:2005/871/Reportage]

August 25 2005

By Eshraq AL-Bodigi
[email protected]
For Yemen Times

Since dawn of history with its first old ages, the whole world has been still thinking to explore different ways, which may support its economic, and progress cycle toward the best.

World countries are until nowadays still running after and panting for realization of economic development, stock exchange, and money markets, and are exerting all of their efforts to acquire non-preceding progress equally in petroleum, banking, and cultural fields.

However, in the course of time all foreign and Arab countries were donating tremendous care for all fields and scopes, which may corroborate their economic development and make them hierarchically arranged according to the economic bases of each country and then name the first country with developed economy, the second in place, or the third, and so forth, pursuant to the downward arrangement.

Any successful civilized nation with strong economy mainly depends on activating its various energies and capacities in all fields, and would render special care for participation of men and women based on parallel standards to achieve a thoroughly measured equation.

That means equal effective participation by both men and women, taking into account diversity of their fields or environments.

And as it is known for many people that any economically successful country cannot ignore or repeal the role of women or can deny them their legal rights already guaranteed in diverse constitutions.

Those civilized states know that participation of man and woman in the fields of work and at the urbanite and rural levels makes a huge economic revolution supported by rich culture and efforts exerted willingly for the purposes of advancing towards a better future.

Oppositely of all these principles and concepts, in many countries which miss correct economic development in spit possessing of the natural sources and heavy gaseous petroleum wealth, still the ignorance of women, restriction them within the traditions and customs, minimizing work fields and opportunities of women, deprivation of their teaching rights, and so many other things are the only obsession of many Yemeni masters specially males.

Mostly that we are hearing and seeing by ourselves about all that kind of pressures, which Arabian women generally are suffering off and particularly Yemeni women as an example inside borders of our Yemeni nation.

In case that woman has finished her secondary education and she is lucky to continue her academic teaching, these pressures are represented in choosing of educational scopes for this girl and then in choosing of working fields for the same girl or another after the academic graduated term.

In Yemen, the male masters have their own rights as they are the decisions makers in the Yemeni families to force the woman and limit her in a very small educational or working circumference.

Most of the academic student girls or the employee girls have to choose between the educational sector, medical sector, nursing sector, or staying at home without and doubt. Usually, the male masters of these girls excuse their acts and this limitation by the social traditions and customs, which prevent the women from their rights of legal selection to choose the best and suitable for them, for their needs, and their likes.

It's the traditions and customs, which limit the women in very limited working fields that are in conformity with its disposition and temper more than their femininities and that simply because of its closure upon itself in spite of all those blatant global developments and improvements. Those male masters who defend about the femininity, traditions and customs had forgotten their lofty masculinity when they squeeze their daughters, sisters and wives by all of the heavy and exhausting rural works, which conflict already with their concept of femininity that are drown in their minds till this moment.

We are not seeking for the freedom of the values, morals, principles, and concepts, but we are requesting for coming back wards the Islam religion and holding by its certain exalted principles. Islam which never prevents women from their rights, or freedom of continual teaching or choosing work, and freedom of choosing their economic participation fields to be side by side to their brothers.

Orthodox Islamic teachings dictated lot of justice, freedom, and never limitation or restriction. It gives the opportunity for the women to work without conditions as it gives for the men in the same time.

Go along with this Islamic flexibility to show that is not the right of male society as our Yemeni society to prevent woman from work and keep them inside the house as a housewife only. However, man has to give her an area for her personal freedom as he needs also. Man has to let her to choose her types of works that she want to do to prove her character and personality, and he has to help her to offer her national duty of economic participation toward her nation.

Not only that, but he should never excuse by traditions and customs which he wants to shackle the woman by it, particularly; that bad and useless ones which keep the society is cultural and economic underdeveloped.

Nevertheless, we have numerous of Yemeni ladies who are very successful in their jobs and universities inside and outside Yemen. And that not only for their patience, abilities or struggle but also for their understanding parents, brothers, and uncles.

Many questions are here and there about the nature of that traditional social view of Yemeni woman, her life style, thinking type, and behaviors pattern. That view which we cannot find its suitable logical explanations, and questions that we cannot find its suitable convincing answers.

Yemeni society as many other Arabic societies, which are still believing that woman had created to be a wife and housewife, they were denying the importance of woman effective economic participation that might consider more important than the role of man himself one day in the future.

Those societies still do not believe on the necessity of participation between the man and the woman whether inside or outside the house. They oppress women rights and their feelings without any humanity, without any conditions or limitations. They are such societies that still do not recognize by rights of women teaching and life; they completely deny the woman existence as a private independent being.

Being Arab and Yemeni societies are holding by Islamic law customs, and are going along with its rules and standards, they should know that this inferiority view of Arabian or Yemeni woman does not coming from Islamic religion at all, they have to recognize that traditional social culture should not mix with laws, rights, and Islam concepts. It should be far away from this pure religion in order to save it from the sheer accused characteristic.

Verily, Arab societies have to keep these all pretenses, traditions, and customs far away from Islam which saved the dignity of woman and their humanity rights from all sides and ages ago.