Modernity and Women’s Participation in Politics
The issue of modernization among the women in the Gulf countries and the UAE in general, has been a matter of concern for many people. The topic has covered numerous controversial debates among researchers with regard to the establishment of a relationship between different concepts. The UAE and the Gulf region has been one of the areas in the whole world affected by the factor of intersectionality. The males have dominated many major roles without considering the females. The research paper will tend to examine some of the factors that led to modernization in the region and how women used to practice their political life as well as the change of their activity until the contemporary time. The problem of modernity has affected the national development of many states since most of the women are unable to get valuable opportunities to progress in their lives.
Modernity is an art that is marked by the change in the ways, cultures, beliefs and values that are the traditional form of the present. Civilization and globalization are among the factors that have caused the rise in the number of individuals, especially females, who participate in the leadership as well as the electoral process. Modernity is a wide topic that concerns human behavior, culture, values, norms and how the people’s ways of life have transformed since the previous eras to the present period (Lu, 2016). The contemporary time is characterized by individuals trying to erode their customs, practices and beliefs, in addition to the adoption of civilization and any improvement that comes with progress and enhancement of the tradition (Osanloo, 2009). The majority of people have become civilized with respect to certain traditions that harm them rather than promote their well-being. In the past, women were seen as the minority group and their involvement in politics was null. Therefore, the paper will examine the issue of modernity and the participation of females in politics particularly in the Gulf region using the UAE as the case study and outline how different factors such as feminism and education level affected the aspect making a comprehensive research with recommendations.
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The usage of sight was paramount since most of the data was collected through observation of the current times as modern societies see in the present that women are engaged in the voting process, and they are able to vie for any political position that they desire. Hence, the outcome is considered within the improvement of governance and the issues of females are well tackled by the government.
The data was found through the questions that were presented to the old people concerning the way the women were regarded. The important questions such as how many females were in politics, appeared among many questions that were required to be filled. The collected data faced with several challenges, as many people refused to answer the questions provided and it was time-consuming since the number of interviewed individuals was substantial. Moreover, the elderly knew only their mother tongue because finding the translator was another factor that brought the challenge.
The information is collected from books to discover the change from the traditional era to the present day on the rise in the amount of women in leadership. The detailed investigation of female leadership was a very exhausting and time-consuming process, as the researcher was to go to the library or surf the Internet to find the quantity of women in the past who were leaders. Another fact to be revealed encompasses determining if the modernity is a contributing factor to the increase in the number of women (Fogu, 2008). The historical books were also necessary, as they enable to collect data on the Gulf countries. The female activists who fought for the rights of women and provided the latter with the right to vote and vie for any political post, and the years that the women in leadership came into place for the Gulf countries (Osanloo, 2009). Furthermore, the books introduced the in-depth research on the characteristics and shifts of the female role, as well as womens contribution to better governance. The diversity of the opinions and talents has enabled the better quality of the decisions that the authorities make.
The survey is the process of taking a sample of the population to prove a given a given factor or information. The data collected was quite unreliable since it involved a sample of the population hence people’s opinion varies from place to place.
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One of the issues that have led to the modern female position in the communities is the current change of world operation. The research shows that 70% of the population said that modernity was one of the major factors that caused the women to be empowered and exposed to the civilization (Osanloo, 2009). One of the main aspects that have limited the process of modernization in relation to females was the fact that 65% of the citizens of the Gulf countries claimed that the demonstrations and protests were a total failure, as most of the governmental agencies lacked the motivation and the ability to support the groups financially (Fogu, 2008). In addition, the majority of women activists were afraid to fight the Islamic law.
One of the factors that led to the enhancement of the female role in the modernity especially in the UAE was the increase in the education level among women. Education has proved to be the most important tool for empowerment (Sharify-Funk, 2016). According to different researchers, 80% of the residents asserted that the improvement of the female educational background has made women more aggressive and more aware of the rights and freedoms they have. Moreover, they discovered that they had the ability to participate in the decision-making process equally with the male counterparts (Lu, 2016). The educational attainment gave women the opportunity and chances to vie for political posts in the country. In the UAE, the academic level of women was minimal while most of the political posts required them to have educational papers to get any political post.
The high education status facilitated women to increase their bargaining power compared to the male counterparts. The female education system was also the factor that decreased the number of women in politics. In the past, women were perceived as the minority and males were taken as superior since they were believed to provide for women. Hence, men were the ones to go to school and receive higher education depending on their ability (Lu, 2014). The women, on the other hand, did not attend school as much as they desired because they were married off to wealthy people. Therefore, this issue of low-level education made the females not aware of the rights and freedoms they had and also of the equal opportunities with their male counterparts. Modernity has enabled women to improve their education attainment and be familiar with the liberties as well as the chances they had in politics. Therefore, they could participate in politics. Governing a state as well as the ability to tackle the issues that affect the females such as sex assaults are to be addressed, as the majority of people affected are women and girls.
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Poverty and the lack of resources have also been a limiting factor to the female participation in politics during the traditional times. The latter contributed to the fact that women were not able to involve themselves in politics, to have resources and to own the land or any property. However, the positive change in the governance can be traced, since more women are able to participate in the electoral process as well as be represented as voters (Lu, 2014). Therefore, women improved the governance of the country due to the amendments of laws, the fairness in engaging politics as well as good decision-making (Jamal, 2009). The females lacked equal opportunities in the available jobs. The culture perceived them as “servants” of men. However, with the cultural changes, women started getting equal chances be employed. The whole issue has empowered females. Their ability to own and inherit property has induced them to be more active, as they had the resources to vie for any political post as well as vote for any leader they prefer.
The lack of groups and associations to support human rights especially that of women has also been a hindrance during the past because there were no mentors to enlighten women concerning the politics and how best they could use their abilities to take part in the electoral process (Ruwanpura & Hughes, 2016). Modernity has created the groups that train women with regard to voting and their chances on the political field (Fogu, 2008). Moreover, they have taught females of the equal rights, pushing for the reforms in the decision-making body as well as the Constitution to improve the fairness in leadership. The United Nation advocates are responsible for that (Lu, 2014).The amount of proper women in office who would fight for the law that enables females to engage themselves in politics is insufficient. Traditionally, the women in leadership were countable, as there were very few of them who were unaware of any rights and freedoms. The present times saw an improvement since more women are involved in leadership and they are the ones who push for equal female representation in the legislature as well as any political office(Thomas, 2004). The availability of vacancy for females has empowered them to work in the political field. Most governments have adopted laws that make the seat for the women to be reserved only for women and that no male is allowed to occupy them. Thus, this created favorable conditions for the women politicians and their number increased significantly.
The technological advancement, namely the use of social media platforms, has come with a positive impact on the females, as more women are involved in politics now. It is very easy for the modern women to be aware of the rights and the roles that they play in politics. They are familiar with the fact that they have equal opportunities as well as liberties to hold any political post they desire. The progress in technology has helped females to establish a good platform to air their views. The technology and social media such as smartphones have enhanced the whole issue of globalization (Ruwanpura & Hughes, 2016). Thus, it has enabled women to learn and oppose their counterparts in the modernity. However, in the traditional means, most of the females were not allowed to access information in the UAE. The new forms of technology have enhanced more of cultural information exchange. Women have been able to approach different counterparts all over the world to share ideas and give them the confidence to change the traditional ways. The move has helped the whole process of modernity enhancing the female rights. Female groups organized mass strikes and protests to fight for the issues affecting them such as being victims of rape. Besides, the female societies formed the anti-sexual harassment. The fact that women were viewed as the shield to the suffering citizens has given the female groups the morale to join the protests. Though the struggle was needed, the women were still regarded as the marginalized ones. The demand by of the better standards and improved fairness was presented by the women activists in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia as they held strikes and demonstration in 2011. In addition, there was the online viral concerning the rights and issues affecting women with respect to hunger and the poverty in Saudi Arabia.
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Variation in decision-making drastically rises, as women will generate more ideas, and enlighten the males on the issues females face when they are at home and how best they can tackle the situation. Females will use their talents and abilities on educating the family to provide solutions to any problem that they are likely to encounter. For instance, if there is a conflict among the leaders, the women will be able to reduce the tension through separating people and providing reasons why they do not need to fight. The knowledge to resolve conflicts stems from family setting since when the kids fight mothers will stop the fight peacefully. The social movement was founded in 1924 to free women. In 1924, Baghdad founded the Women Renaissance Club since most of the women were complaining about their lack of freedom to vote and take part in the electoral process. Therefore, this improved the ability of women to involve in leadership as well as the electoral process with the purpose to build a democratic state. The Iraq women foundation has proved to be a failure though the research was done to prove the abandonment of females in Iraq. Additionally, they brought solutions to the Iraq government; however, it was closed in 2011 due to the deficiency in capital and money as most of the agencies lacked concern.
The fairness in the rights and opportunities has increased the number of women involved in leadership, as the Constitution includes laws that state that for every male politician there should be a female one. Therefore, the female participation in business has significantly improved. The Gulf countries have been highly affected by the women in leadership since their chances are limited. The present time has been characterized by the rise in the amount of females involved in politics. Most of the nationalities registered a drastic positive incline in especially leading a nation. The favorable impact on female empowerment in leadership has resulted in the greater knowledge of women issues. The Gulf countries such as Iran was the initial state to permit women to participate in the electoral process (Jamal, 2009). The Gulf societies have pushed for the laws that allow women to vie for any political post. The factors affecting females have been brought to light by the increase of female groups though some women in Iran faced it rough with the government wherever they fight for their rights. The Gulf countries have seen the humble female request to implement more fair and democratic electoral process that offers the chance to the womens participation.
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One of the factors that have contributed to modernity in the states such as the UAE is intersectionality. Intersectionality in the definition is the oppression and discrimination of a given group, which is either categorized by gender, race or standards. In the given case, women were abused and treated with biases because of the gender issue. In the traditional culture, it allowed females to be perceived as a tool for impressing men. The impression that was implanted among the men during the traditional error resulted in more challenges for women to serve their political rights. It was very difficult for a man to be led by a female in any given post. Eroding the culture was quite difficult making it even harder for women to defend their political rights (Sharify-Funk, 2016). During the traditional error, the female rights were even more oppressed in terms of voting. Women voter enrollment and registration were challenging. However, with the modernity, the matter of feminism has increased in the UAE and the Gulf region at large. In fact, some of the men supported the female gender allowing them to grow and encouraged modernity (Van, 2016). The rule of the government of the people, by the people, for the people has given females a chance to exercise their voting as well as the positional rights to be involved in choosing and electing of leaders. They have the fair platform alongside the ability to hold any post. Political campaigns and parties have given chance to women to be the part of the agenda and the policy committee, as they are elected fairly by the people to participate in the election process.
The government, NGOs, civil societies, women and the society in general are the ones that are supposed to push for the increase in a number of females who are involved in politics. The political parties, for instance, need to ensure that their teams provide the conducive environment and the necessary aid, namely moral support, financial aid and any resources that the women counterparts need in order to be engaged in politics. The representation of women in the political parties and committee policymaking is a very important factor that promotes the quantity of women in leadership. The women activists will boost their skills and experiences in their involvement in politics in case they are elected by the people in office. The media need to advertise and educate the general public on the importance of female leadership and also be able to provide the women who want power with enough airtime to market themselves in the positions that they need to hold and the policies they will establish. The government has to provide inducements that are aimed at encouraging the female aspirants as well as making them marketable enough to compete with the males. The motivation may be strengthened by providing women with resources, mentoring them and making them known in the media. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can facilitate the increase in the total number of women in politics by offering mentoring services and giving guidance on the new rules, law making, and the electoral procedures (Van, 2016). Lastly, the civil society needs to determine the women who are interested in politics and be able to fight for their rights to practice and participate in political aspirations and also provide the candidates with the networks to campaign for their positions and announce their policies.
From the research, it is evident that the factor limiting growth and development of women is the lack of awareness. Most of them are oppressed, and they have no knowledge about that. Some of the organizations have tried to encourage the awareness issue to modernize the women and their participation in the political life. Thus, with little consistency women will be able to understand their political rights and participate more. The government should entail more civic education. The women should be able to know their constitutional rights. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can boost the total number of women in politics by offering mentoring services to them and providing guidance on the new rules, law making, and the electoral procedures. Lastly, the civil society has to support the women who are interested in politics and provide the candidates with networks for the latter to campaign for their positions and openly discuss their policies. Therefore, the NGOs will be able to educate the females in terms of civic education.
The government should support greater women enrolment in the universities and secondary schools. Currently, the number of females in the education system is low compared to the amount of males. Thus, the authorities should foster the female education on political participation. Women and politics is an interesting topic, as through the lens of modernity and one may consider the change of female role in leadership in the present time (Jamal, 2009). Men who were well-educated and dominated the politics in the country, were fully aware of the leadership and rights that they had. With the help of education, women will be able to take part in politics that in turn will lead to growth and development. They will have the equal power with men to control the events around them and increase women presentation.
Clearly, from the paper one can easily notice that the process of modernity for the women has improved. The traditional methods used to oppress individuals with regard to gender. Males were give more power and opportunities making them the supreme gender. However, globalization changed the course of events. Women are participating more in politics and generating more awareness. Females are important members of the society, as they play a huge role in upbringing children in a proper and upright way. The women involvement in politics has been one of the main aspects of the modern society due to their efficient participation in the governance. Modernity, that is the change from traditional beliefs to the modern ones, has been accepted well by the public since the number of women in office has significantly increased over the years. The whole process has taken different steps from the traditional methods. Some of the feminists have dedicated their lives and resources to assure that women in the UAE are able to exercise their rights. With the advancement in technology and the current government supporting female empowerment, in future one will see greater contribution of women to the political life. Hopefully, they will be able to advocate for more female rights and ensure cultural diversification at the same time. The issue of intersectionality will terminate, as the process of globalization widens. Thus, women will be allowed to access more information just like the male counterparts.