A woman's role is often defined as a mother, a daughter, a wife or a homemaker. However, over the course of history, women have strived to add to and redefine these terms. And Arab women have actively participated in this movement.
They have broken barriers, fought for rights and proved to the world that nothing is unattainable. Be it by beating male counterparts in occupying government positions or holding high-ranking jobs, the Arab woman is making her presence felt.
There are more Arab women in senior ranks, in the public sector.
I've seen women holding senior positions at the workplace and it's always a welcome sight. I think women are trying and want to excel in their careers. It's definitely a good step that they are taking and hopefully will lead to more progress.
– Saman Simah
Everything's changed for women. Things are completely different these days than the way they used to be. It's great to see the world changing in their favour. I think it's a good thing that women are able to hold such positions.
– Ebrahim Awad
The women I've seen and interacted with have all held low-ranking positions. They're not any less competent or talented than their male or Western counterparts, so I'm not sure why I haven't seen more Arab women being offered senior positions. I think it is something they deserve.
– Ali Syed
Many women are becoming increasingly active in all areas of society. I have seen many Arab women who are in senior positions, in different departments of the government and also at various ministries. It's good because they can bring a different view or aspect to the workplace. This also gives them an opportunity to showcase their abilities and talents.
– Bassem Khaled
Young women are taking their careers very seriously.
The culture is still on the crux of change, so it's hard to say for sure. It seems to me that young women are influenced a lot by their parents, family and society. A lot of them do believe that being a wife and a mother is the preferred role in life.
– Mr Dennies Miranda
A lot of young women in cultures across the spectrum want what their parents have: the cars, the house and all the merchandise. They might take up varied positions at the workplace just to achieve the sort of living they're accustomed to. Also, there are still a lot of women out there who are looking to marry just to take on the lifestyle they're used to or fantasise about.
– Barbara Cummings
Most women are career-oriented, like their male counterparts. In the Gulf region, there are more women who are pursuing careers now than earlier. It's a good thing because it means that women today are more independent and active in social environments. They have more options and choices to decide what they want to do.
– Anya Mughal
Many women want to work and pursue careers. This provides them with a sense of independence because they are able to support themselves. Because more and more women have access to education and can earn degrees, they want to put their skills to use by joining the workforce. Some prefer to work rather than settle down and raise a family, since they have the means to do that.
– Najwan Shaikha
Pay scales are still gender driven in the region.
Unfortunately, this is a global reality and not just limited to the region. I have friends who've run into problems because of their gender. It's not only about pay but also about opportunity, position and being taken seriously. At times, it's the women who disregard their own female colleagues. There's still a bias towards men.
– Kareem Mousa
Unfortunately, it pertains to a vast majority of countries as well. It's still a male-driven frame of mind. Female colleagues of mine have had problems with this in the past. They were not given the same power or responsibilities as men. Women are very capable, able to multitask and take charge, but very often they don't get recognised for these attributes.
– Suki Matharu
The different salaries are not based on the gender of the employee but rather on their qualifications and what they can bring to the workplace. If a person can bring something extra to their workplace then they might be rewarded with a better salary, regardless if they are male or female. Companies generally provide the same income for people who are working in the same department.
– Nancy Sanoria
The differences in salary are not really based on a person's gender but rather on their nationality. Even though the qualifications of different employees are similar, it is their nationality that plays a factor in how much they earn. In the Philippines, male and female employees are paid the same salary for the same job.
– Grace Nunez
They should be given a more active role in governance if a nation has to truly succeed.
If anyone has the capabilities, especially for any government-related roles, why not give them a chance, regardless of their gender? Coming from the Philippines, where the president is a woman, I encourage a more active role for women. Gender issues should be irrelevant to securing a government position.
– Alain Sullaga
I've been living in the UAE for the past five years and I've seen it grow at a personal level. Some time ago women working in many areas was unimaginable, but these days more women are asked to take on important roles in the government. Women are working more and given more opportunities today. It's definitely a positive change in such an aspiring region.
– Najia Pathan
People should hear from both genders on different topics since each side has a different point of view. A woman can bring a different perspective to a situation, so the region should encourage more women to become active in various areas of governance. This will help the region grow by providing a larger role for women in society and empowering them.
– Melanie Martin
Arab women should be given a more active role since they can provide the same level of expertise as their male co-workers. Currently, there is only one woman who has been given a ministerial position in the UAE. While this is a step forward, they are still not as active as they should be.
– Aida Al Hussaini