Violation of Women's Rights in the Middle East and its Direct Relationship with Lack of Education and Highly Religious Countries


Violation of women’s rights has been considered for many years a major problem especially in the developing countries. It is for a reason that in these countries, culture continues to overshadow the modern concepts of humanity, and, thus, gender equality. The Middle East can be considered as a developed region in terms of the economy, but it remains relatively behind in as far as social development is concerned owing to the backward trends that are insisted upon their religious contexts. The research will be aimed at understanding why women’s rights are violated in the Middle East, and the major factors under investigation include lack of education and the religious beliefs and practices.

Significance of the Study

The study will be pegged on the fact that women’s rights are a great part of the human rights, seeing as women are humans too. Thus, this study is significant because it looks into a subject that is interesting and highly important in the social and economic growth of not just individuals but also communities. Africa is an example of a place where empowering women is steadily translating into economic growth. While the Middle East is already a wealthy region, empowering their women might lead to social and economic dispensation (Barlow & Akbarzadeh, 2006). The information obtained in this study will enable the interest groups to come up with relevant plans and eliminate violation of women’s rights, thus, empowering the entire Middle Eastern society in a variety of ways. 


Afary (2004) emphasizes that with the globalized approach to human’s rights, the issue of women’s rights violations is a major concern across the planet. Over the past few years, the Middle East along with other regions of the world has come under scrutiny for their attitudes towards the women. Initially, Africa was considered as the hub of human rights violations but as the Middle East opened up for the rest of the world, their own attitudes and actions against the women started being questioned. Women in these countries are not just perceived as inferior but have very limited rights and liberties.

The Middle East, like the rest of the developed world, is expected to be a solid part of the international community and, thus, having it lagging behind in a matter that is as important as human rights are something that need to be investigated (Afkhami, 1996). The idea here is not to point fingers but rather to establish a correlation that would explain the region’s failure to comply with international standards on the concept of human, and especially women’s rights. With such a strong economy, conformity with respect to global standards should be a main factor in the formulation of social policies in the Middle East if the region is to attract and maintain foreign friendships. The research will specifically analyze the lack of education among these populations and especially among the women, as well as the strict religious laws of the region and how these encourage the violation of women’s rights in the Middle East.  

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Literature Review

In their analysis, Nazir & Tomppert (2009) maintained that despite the advancement in technology and globalization, this country’s guardianship system still perceives women as minors. The women are grouped together with young girls in their set of rights where they are incapable of traveling, working or even studying without the support and permission of their male relations, implying father, grandfather, brother, cousin, uncle or husband. Women here are not only prohibited from living freely, they cannot drive or vote or even participate in the country’s politics in any way (Ajayi & Olotuah, 2005).

Mayer (1999) argues that the Middle Eastern women today are more empowered, as opposed to their predecessors, especially owing to the Western influences on public opinion. This argument is made in defense of the Middle Eastern system in the light of criticism from Western countries, and it can be understood as optimistic in the context of positive change. However, the author also manages to concede that women’s rights are specifically violated in unacceptable ways and with justifications that are far below par. The main point herein is that there is a lot of human rights violation in the Middle East, and the reasons given are not really worthy as justifications.  

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Osanloo (2011) discusses the outcome of the Arab Spring on the rights of the women in the MENA region. The article wanted to establish if there have been any changes in the way women are perceived and treated within the Middle East and North Africa, given their active participation in the protests that called for democracy and more freedom. Based on the findings, Osanloo (2011) argues that women may have felt empowered during the protests but it will take the intervention of the international community to really break the yoke of gender inequality in the region. This shows that the state of violation of women’s rights is serious ad something must be done soon if the situation is to be averted permanently.  

Aims and Objectives of the Study

The study’s main aim is to establish the reason behind the violations of women’s rights in the Middle East, and in order to arrive at this, the guiding objectives will include:

  • To understand the Middle Eastern government policies with respect to women and girls;
  • To establish the historical and religious aspects that make women inferior to men in the Middle Eastern society;
  • To find out what can be done so as to end this problem in a sustainable way.


Women’s rights are fundamental issue in the protection of human rights, seeing as the women have for so many years been victims in a largely patriarchal society. Moreover, while the West may have adjusted well to the concept of gender equality, there are a lot of factors that continue to impede a full adjustment in the Middle East as well as other regions. The only way to eliminate the ideology that women are minor or second class citizens is thus to define the policies, beliefs and practices that undermine them and then to root them out using logic and rational explanations. This will require the intervention of the international community, thus, making this research very instrumental in achieving that equality goal.

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