Feminist scholars were the first to develop a keen interest in “intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality in examining women’s lives” (Naples 2007). Focusing on the Saudi Arabia context and women status in it, a number of factors become issues worth of studying in terms of feminist methodology since marginalization and violence against Saudi women has not been barred yet on the legislative and executive levels.
There is double-sided information on this problem. According the World Report 2012 (HRW 2012), there is an official promise of King Abdullah to grant the development of women security and rights equality with the men. However, the statistics proves these official incentives to be too slow and weak to fight stereotypes and traditions of Saudi guardian society where women are treated as minors. The peculiarities of this social setup discriminate women’s right of freedom to travel and be mobile (driving car is illegal), studying, and working – Saudi women are allowed to do all the mentioned above things with the permission of male guardian only. The government promises the improvement of emancipation: issuing of identity cards and plans to let women vote in municipal elections 2015, thus granting equal citizenship for women and men.
In terms of feminist methodology, an assumption is proved – traditional and legal rights and benefits assigned to Saudi men give them superiority over women and allow violent behavior. Regarding cases of home violence, “authorities continue to suppress or fail to protect the rights of 9 million Saudi women and girls” (HRW 2012).
The statistics above proves Saudi Arabia traditions and way of life to hamper the equality of men and women, but there is the other ideas (Malley-Morrison 2004) expressed by the scholars stressing the unique nature of Saudi society where men and women are both involved in family routine and value the sacred status of the family bonds. According to Kathleen Malley-Morrison (2004), gender roles in Saudi Arabia are disguised and misrepresented in modern context by obsolete stereotypes.
In brief, there is a need and desire to improve the female status and role in Saudi society, but the society itself does not know how to ensure the changes and feels insecure as to the results of these changes.
Malley‑Morrison, K., 2004, International Perspectives: Family Violence and Abuse: A CognitiveEcological Approach, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Naples, N.A., 2007. Feminist Methodology. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. [Online]. Available at:
Human Rights Watch (HRW), 2012. World Report 2012: Saudi Arabia [Online]. Available at: < http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-saudi-arabia> [Accessed 11 Oct. …