So let's see, so far yours truly has been mr. doom on quite a few issues: saudi arabia becoming unstable (I have to admit it seems i'm wrong on that one), people from the sub-continent taking over bahrain (that one, I think, is a real worry, which needs addressing), young people with no ideology, etc.... Here's another one to add to the explosive cocktail that's nowadays called Bahrain: women are entering the scene. In fact, that's an understatement: women are pounding on the door right now, and sooner rather than later, the door is going to be knocked down. All hell is going to break loose!
Alright, enough with The Sun style propaganda. On a more sombre (and less fatalistic note), I think the idea of women becoming much more active in society is something not only acceptable, but something with massive benefits and to be encouraged.
Are women, however, really going to become main players in society? All evidence in Bahrain seems to point that way. Let's look at that dull concept called statistics: two thirds of individuals who pass highschool nowadays in Bahrain are female. Females outnumber males in the highest score list in middle and secondary school also by about two to one. More women nowadays enroll, and finish university than men. Basically, on the education frontier, the guys have their bottoms whoopped.
How about on other frontiers? Politics? Business? Laws? Well, population-wise, Bahraini women nowadays outnumber men (which was reflected in the last election, where apparently most of the Islamists won on the women's vote). Furthermore, Bahrain has just had it's first woman minister. Overall, however, i think women still lag behind men on other issues. On legal issues, Bahraini women married to foreign men are yet to be entitled to a Bahraini passport for their children. On the politics side, not a single MP or council representative is a woman. On the economics side, well, we're yet to have a local "hamoor" who is a woman. This, however, will surely change. When the most educated individuals are women, history dictates that eventually the most educated groups in society will surely become more influential, if not the most influential.
Is this a good thing? To utilize some scare tactics, "do we really wnat to be led by people who go through mood swings every month?" I can't see this except being a good thing. Half of our population used to be under utilized, but now they have the chance to contribute to society. It'll take time, it'll take effort, and it'll take some conflict resolving, but I'm sure women are going to play a more active, if not the most active, role in society.
We do, however, have to learn from the mistakes of western societies, which I think, have failed miserably in incorporating traditional familial activities with modern lifestyles. I don't think anyone, women included, will like the idea of children growing up exclusively on day care, seeing their parents for one hour only a day, and from weekend to weekend. I don't think anyone, women included, likes the idea of children having to grow up under divorced and single-parent upbringing. I don't think anyone, women included, likes the idea of 16 year old girls getting pregnant from one-night-stand binges and having to face the option of either abortion or spending the rest of their lives living of state benefits in a council-flat, bringing up their children on their own. I don't think anyone, women included, like the idea of women having to wait until they're 35 to have one child, until the situation reaches such an extreme that the state has to beg and bribe parents into having children (e.g. scandinavian countries) just so that the human race in that country does not dwindle and become extinct.
I think every Arabic person agrees that if there is one thing, other than religion, that we are extremely proud off and we do not want to lose is our strong family ties and values. We all like the fact that parents, brothers, sisters, and other siblings play an important part in our life. We all take pride in the fact that we still ( I hope) meet and spend time with our families on a regular basis, and that meeting family does not end up being a chore that's done on holidays. We all, hopefully, agree that we have obligations to our parents and children, and that we'll (hopefully) never end up having to send them all to some foster-care home to have a slow, anonymous death. We all agree that family is one of the sunnats al7ayat (cornerstones of life), and that if we end breaking that up, we no longer in one sense end up being humans.
So let's try to show the world that we can better them in something. Let's try to show the world that we can have the benefits of modern society as well as being able to hold on to aspects that we dearly cherish. Let's show the world that women empowerment does not necessarily mean broken-homes, high divorce rates, and dwindling birthcount and population. It's a challenge, with many obstacles in the way, but I have faith in ourselves, and in our women!