Friday, February 22, 2013
Saudi Arabia: Women Confined by Technology
In the case of women in Saudi Arabia, as this article examines, technology plays a role in both solving some and aggravating some injustices. However, it still plays significantly more into the aggravation of current injustices and has found ways to "innovate" causing even more restrictions. As the text describes how Saudi Arabian women are regarded as "legal minors" their whole life, it becomes apparent that this backwards society has more than just an small equality issue, but a larger human rights one. The system in place of women not being able to travel without the approval of a man, whether it be their father, husband, brother or son, has been even increased by the influence of technology. Now the system of sending out text messages to the men when a woman tries to go out of the country puts even more control on the women. I think that even though they claim this makes the process more efficient, it's not even about the efficiency of this issue, it's the violation of rights that stands as the basis for the rule. Having women need a guardian for all significant life decisions that they make should in no way be mandated by any person or government, and the role that technology should play in that should be that of giving the victims a voice to speak out, rather than perpetuating the injustices. Because women have been constitutionally granted equality in our society, which in itself was long overdue, I feel confused as to how this could still be happening in the world. I think even more now with the role that technology, and especially social media, plays in the global landscape that an entire nation cannot act blind to this issue. The injustice of subjecting one people group to another as of less worth is never an acceptable practice, and because of that should not be tolerated, even if that practice is getting more 'technologically savvy'. I don't know the procedure or practice for making a necessary change, but I know that there was a bright spot to this story. Saudi women have been able to find a voice in the issue through technology, which gives some hope that through technology the issue of guardianship can be exposed and hopefully reformed and done away with in this society.