Saudi Arabia: The Women Behind the Veil


I discovered this video while browsing youtube.  Although it is more than a year old at this time, it still gives a good perspective on the lives and challenges of Saudi women from different social classes in the Kingdom.

I personally do not agree with some of the opening comments by the reporter but I found the series of interviews with Saudi women and men to be enlightening.


14 Responses

  1. AB:

    What do you disagree with?

  2. I might not use the word repressed but Saudi women certainly have fewer civil rights than other women in the region. The fact that many accept their station doesn’t mean it isn’t repression.

  3. I disagree with the standard rhetoric the female reporter starts the video with.

  4. I see. I tend to think of it as oppression as many women are unable to change it but have found ways to deal with it. However, I can certainly hear their frustration and in many their desparation. I, of course, have nothing good to say for the men.

  5. So sad to see the widows situation..and also the young girls not being able to live a normal life because their mother is a poor divorcee and chances of things changing are slim. At least one thing has changed since this regards to men working in underwear stores.

    p.s my first time to see a saudi girl with green eyes..

  6. rhet·o·ric   [ret-er-ik] Show IPA
    (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.

    I honestly didn’t notice any.

  7. I just feel that the initial description of women and Saudi was a bit over-exaggerated and too extreme. What she said was true but she made it sound worse than it actually is in my view. Now that being said, I was pleased that she was able to interview women from differing classes which I think gave a good balance to the video.

  8. “Do they expect a woman to live without a man?”
    This is the most telling statment of the whole clip. In KSA, without a man a woman can do NOTHING. His wife can work IF he gives permission.
    If women were allowed to grow up and make their own decisions, The divorcee woiuld be able to work at a job that could help her support her daughters and send them to school instead of hoping they marry well.

  9. The reporter starts with a superlative and seems to set out to prove it. This isn’t exactly an original stance for a westerner in Saudi.

    She also said a woman can only be a teacher but can’t women be beauticians, doctors and nurses? What is the situation with gynecologists?

    Linda, good point about the comment, “Do they expect a woman to live without a man?” It is so silly to my western mind, that I giggle. I suppose Saudis’ don’t have an equivalent saying to the English saying, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” ???!! Of course the way the society is set up, women do need men.

    Thanks for the video Bedu.

  10. There are many more opportunities for women than what the reporter stated. There are now female Saudi diplomats, architects, in all aspects of the medical profession, etc.

  11. Women have worked as beauticians and in hospitals for decades.

    @Linda, I agree excellent point. A woman may not prefer to live without a man- but she should certainly be able to if choice or circumstance make her prefer it.

  12. What do you disagree with?

  13. Carol, I just watched this now. I agree that women are diplomats, architects, etc, etc. but I bet they are a drop in the proverbial bucket are they not?

  14. @Wendy – yes; they are but a drop in the bucket yet trail blazers for other women in Saudi Arabia.

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