This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 11th (copyright 2012, although it actually came out in 2011), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news. Note that the 12th edition is currently in production and will be out in 2015.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Setback for Saudi Women

There are few places on earth where women are more subjugated that in Saudi Arabia. Despite relatively high levels of education (always sex-segregated), and high levels of household income, the conservative clergy continues to push its ancient prejudice against women.

Saudi Arabia's top government-sanctioned board of senior Islamic clerics has endorsed a fatwa that calls for a ban on female vendors because it violates the kingdom's strict segregation of the sexes.
The powerful committee said in its ruling Sunday that the mixing of sexes is forbidden and women should not seek jobs where they could encounter men.
It may be that the high level of income is one of the very reasons why the severe segregation of women can persist. Families are still OK economically even if women are not in the labor force in large numbers, and families can afford to hire outsiders to drive women places and chaperone them in public. These are the petro-dollars at work.

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