Friday, March 23, 2007

United States, Saudi Arabia and Gender Equality

I just read the World Economic Forum's report on the Gendergap.

The United States comes in a sad 23rd overall, with countries like Sri Lanka(13th), and Spain(11th) placing well above us.

It's time Americans wake up and smell the hudge lie we've been told; it's an outright myth that America is the Land of Equality for women!

The report touches on the "glass ceiling" for American women in the workplace, and that working mothers, if they're lucky, get 12 weeks of UNPAID maternity leave. In America it truly is have a family vs. have a career.

Compare that to 2 years paid maternity leave in Sweden!

I had my third child while living in Qatar. I not only had 40 days paid maternity leave, I also had one full year (beginning the day I returned to work after maternity leave) of "mother's hours".....a 2 hour leave daily from work, with the idea that the woman can return home for 2 hours and nurse the baby. I was allowed to take those 2 hours at any time I asked for them. Qatari nationals had 2 years of mother's hours.

On another note, not so unexpectedly, Saudi Arabia and Yemen placed last in the Gender Gap study for the their region (the Middle East) as well as overall, in a list of 115 countries worldwide!

Kuwait was the highest-ranking Arab country (from a total of 10 countries included in the survey).

I am sad that Qatar wasn't included in the forum, but perhaps they just don't have enough statistical data to be included. I noticed while living there that many types of data simply aren't being recorded, espeically with regards to healthcare.

...But don't get me started on that one....Alas, that's another post for another day!


peppylady said...

I found this interesting how different place treated gender different.
It got me asking me some questions mainly two of them.

1. Why do some company treat the gender different?
2. Is it our culture where we live that makes us devolved in the way we treat the gender.

In place where I work I believe their not much of gender gap. I do home care and most of us are female. But let me tell you their is problems in the home health care.

Baraka said...

salaam & thanks for posting this. very very interesting. It amazes me how many of my compatriots are think the lot of women in the US is the best in the world and really don't look at the stats any deeper.

Peace Mission India said...

A German female judge refused a Muslim woman a speedy divorce, which she wanted because her husband beat her. The judge said the Koran teaches that wife beating is OK, and their culture and custom allowed it. The judge therefore overruled German (and Western) law and culture. Could happen here?

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Peppy- I'm not sure why there is a gender gap in America. Are the statistics simply skewed or is there really a discrepency? I want to believe that a woman with the same tenure and training in a job as a man receives the same salary...I know* in the private sector though that this many times doesn't happen....with regards to ethnicty I know there is a hudge discrepency.

Baraka-you're welcome. Well, it's apparent even within the feminist movement there is a hudge amount of imperialism=discrimination towards anyone who doesn't embrace the Western definition of feminism. As a muslimah from America, I actually had *more rights in Qatar than I do here! For instance, I had the mother's hours, and also enjoyed a high level of public protection from sexual harrassment, which Qatari nationals also enjoyed. If a man even so much as looked at me wrong or gave me his phone number I could call the police on him and they'd beat him! INSANE.

Peace mission- that's CRAZY. If that happens here I'm leaving! Seriously, I think there would be a class-action lawsuit or something. That judge if that really happened, its whacked, and so are muslims who skew the Quran into barabaric interpretations like that one.

Salihah סליחה صالحه said...

Assalaamu Alaykum, wow, Qatar has it figured out when it comes to how to treat us queens of the home and society. Alhamdulillah. The US companies could take some lessons on how to treat female employees!

Salihah סליחה صالحه said...

...About the German judge, I heard that story on the news. That judge is not Muslim, and thus, hardly close to being a scholar of fiqh, totally unqualified to make such a ruling on Islamic views.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

"The US companies could take some lessons on how to treat female employees! "...

How true! Talk about company loyalty! I can only imagine how loyal women would become if they were treated appropriately by corporate employers. *In my opinion, mothers can be some of the most amazing multi-taskers out there...but a lot of us cannot contribute to the workplace bc of the whole childcare issue.

Jane said...

Hmm, what's "hate speech"? I think the US is pretty good for women. Is that hate speech?