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The world’s largest women-only university opened in Saudi Arabia – A huge step of the king towards women development

>> Sunday, May 29, 2011

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                                                    The Social Environment
The reports of opening the world’s largest women-only university by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia appears to be a huge step of the king to empower and develop the remaining  half of the  population that has been ranked zero in terms of female political empowerment in 2010 by the World Economic Forum gender gap report.

As per reports the world’s largest women university in Saudi Arabia is situated on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh. It has been named as Princess Nora bint Abdulrahaman University. With the capacity for 50,000 girl students, the university is equipped with a teaching hospital, laboratories and libraries, and it is said to be capable of improving women’s access to business and science courses.

Commentators and Human Rights personalities the world over, are of the opinion that it is a very nice step if the king’s strict sex-segregation rules are ignored for a moment. They appear a bit confused about the future lives of the women who study there, after their graduation. There is no scarcity of well educated women in Saudi Arabia but it is said that women add up less than 15 percent to the labour force earning far less than men there. However, experts are hopeful that this new facility would open up more male dominated fields to women- reports the Guardian.

The 2010 report of the World Economic Forum ranked Saudi Arabia 129 out of 134 countries. It has been reported to be the only country to score zero for female political empowerment. In March 2010 it was announced that the ban on Saudi Women’s Voting Rights would continue. It is reported from time to time that Saudi women are forced to live under the control of a male guardian, usually a father or husband, without whose authority they cannot get a job, travel or open a bank account. Here it is important to note that such rules do exist in other societies and other religions too, though these are not enforced strictly in those other societies, and disobedience to such rules in those societies and religions is usually ignored and hence, is very common. Hence, in the author’s opinion many guardians too tend to change their attitudes towards women and the same is being seen in many Muslim families also. This is the reason why women from different sections of societies have been joining the main stream. In view of all this, opening of a grand university in Saudi Arabia is undoubtedly a beam of women development and empowerment.

Women become mothers and take key position in producing a country’s man power. All the development of a nation depends on its skilled, civilized, healthy, brave and disciplined and responsible citizens. Making of a good citizen starts in families where mothers are best technologists. An illiterate mother finds it hard to manage routine affairs of a child scientifically. Even an illiterate pregnant lady can not know many scientific things the knowledge of which is considered necessary during that period. Most of us can agree that rates of infant mortality were higher when mothers were mostly illiterate. With the growth of education they became able to understand biological processes, diseases, and also various government schemes that are run for their and their babies’ welfare. A literate or educated lady in India can understand the Janani Suraksha Yojana, Swayam Siddha, and the like better than an illiterate lady. On the other hand remaining parts of upbringing of children are also carried on by mothers themselves. A properly educated mother can produce good citizens and can contribute to the growth of her nation. Gold not… these are the citizens of a country who can make it great and strong, and good citizens can be made by good and well educated mothers. In modern times, it is being observed that many children have to suffer due to employment conditions of their mothers and many children are being reared in Play Schools on high costs. Such children, I fear to say, remain usually deprived of education and love from their own mothers. No business can copy love, care and education of a mother just as no milk can be as useful for an infant as the Mother’s Milk. By producing, rearing, developing, and educating and more by loving their children mothers do greatest jobs for families, societies, nations and yes, the world. What if women are less employed what if they are not politicians?? All of these are created and aggravated pains.


I support the thought of giving ladies proper opportunities and reservations, and I do support that they must be empowered in every way. But as far as education to ladies is concerned, it should never be considered to be meant for employment only, or for getting representation in politics or business. Who shares pains of ladies which they experience during their pregnancy periods, and which they experience during child-birth?? Who stays awake for the whole night with a new born baby?? A person who has to carry on such responsibilities at least in the current conditions   must be educated properly. Hence, leave aside laws of a particular country and appreciate such a great work with open heart. It is up to the concerned government to lift up any law or ban or to impose on. Appreciable steps must be appreciated or at least never criticised. However, experts have their own opinions and can express in their own ways. Let virtues join us step by step.

Every family is an institution, as said by sociologists and an institution must have a head. Still in most societies in most of the religions a competent or senior male remains the head. Fathers take care of their daughters and sons and of course, the husbands take care of their wives. Rules, codes of conduct, norms of discipline etc. remain particular in families and institutions. The question is – why only males dominate? Here it can be said that females too dominate in families lacking competent males. Dominance of males can never be a law for any society, nor is it so as I think. If it is, it may surely be based on some strong or weak notions derived from psychological, biochemical, morphological and attitudinal schools of thought. So it is nothing wonderful and needs no serious comment through any media report or so. After all, education does not basically aim for employment. Rather it does have the aim of human development.

Now, let us hope from the Government of Saudi Arabia that it may do something towards lifting the restriction from women employment, voting rights and others whatsoever is thought important by it. As regards family rules there, or the rules society or the government, these are as much respectable as rules in other societies across the globe. If the government there takes some huge step towards a particular direction, it must have some huge aim which may not be less than excellent.

Keywords
Saudi Arabia, women empowerment, women education, largest university of the world, King Abdullah

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