Over the past few decades, women’s rights have changed dramatically, regarding issues ranging from their participation in the workforce to how they are treated as a human being. Although this change may seem altogether positive, the actuality of it differs from different parts of the world. When comparing the Eastern and Western culture in reference to women, there are many things to consider, all of which can be understood more clearly by addressing the following questions:
When discussing how women are treated differently in Middle East countries compared to Western culture, the difference is quite extreme. In countries such as Canada and the United States, women are basically at the point where they can dress, speak and act however they please. whereas in a Middle Eastern country such as Iran or Iraq for example, a woman’s actions and wardrobe are specifically laid out for her and expected to be followed.
In the Middle East, women are seen as sources of seduction that are responsible for man’s inability to resist them, and because they are considered to be the inferior sex, it is assumed to be their duty to control their sexuality. As Ayubi states, “…it is believed that women must be hidden and separated from men so that the males are not overpowered by feminine sexual appeal.” (p. 3). Due to this theory, there is a custom to which all women living in Middle East countries are expected to abide by – veiling. Veiling is a custom which involves the woman covering her entire body (including hair) except for the hands and face. It has become a symbol of .female virtue and obedience to Allah – the Arabic name for God – and is a crucial part of the Islamic code which stresses sexual segregation. .