Is There Feminism in Saudi Arabia?
Keywords:undergraduate research, Saudi Arabia, Feminism, Women's Movements
The use of the word feminism might be problematic in trying to describe women’s movement in Saudi Arabia because of historical and social factors associated with the feminist movement. Feminism is a movement that developed out of Western context and discourse, therefore it might not properly describe what is taking place in Saudi Arabia. A comparison between women’s movements in Saudi Arabia and the Western feminist movement reveals important differences. This, however, does not mean that Saudis are not preoccupied by the theme of justice as it pertains to gender issues. The aim of this research is thus to challenge the view that Saudi women have no agency and to explore the ways they seek to shape their society and challenge oppressive systems from within their own culture and worldview. This research will discuss why feminist theory may not be the ideal, and certainly not the only system that can address oppressive systems in non-Western societies, including Saudi Arabia. Additionally, this research will describe and analyze the ways in which Saudi women are working towards defining their own views of equity and creating women's movement within their society.
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