It is been said that a generation can change its society. Comparing the past generations of Saudi women to present ones, one can observe significant changes in the two different age groups: those over forty years and those less than twenty years. One of the social approaches that this research paper focuses on is social conflict. Social conflict relates to how society moves forward in as far as the definition of its cultural habits is concerned. However, the social conflict in Saudi Arabia has three perspectives. First, the admission of the conflict about certain things with the willingness to discuss the issues involved while considering globalization and modern trends. Secondly, admitting that there exist shortages in some area of society, but ignoring any effort to bring about improvements in such areas that are normally sensitive topics. Thirdly, ignorance of the existence of a conflict and the changes in culture, religion and community customs as that are inevitable (Kelly & Breslin, 2006).
Ladies who are twenty years old or less are determined speak up about their freedom without using third parties to deliver their views. Today, with social media such as Twitter, and Facebook they can easily convey they views without few of reprisal. Since, most senior people in the Saudi Arabian government are not familiar with social media, newspapers convey such radical ideas on the internet, and especially social media. For example, a girl who had just graduated from a private nursing school expressed how she had been looking for a job for three years but to no avail. She was assisted by influential women to finally land a job (Ames, 2013).
Women who are over forty years old are less radical and opinioned than their young daughters. This is attributable to the conservative environment and times in which they grew up. Some feminist schools were established in Saudi Arabia as early as the 1960s. However, when the government opened such schools, some families did not accept the idea of letting girls to go to school. This was not until the elite of the Saudi Arabian society took the lead and sent their daughters to school. This change trickled down from the well-off members of society to the mid and low income earners. Most of the women who are now over forty years managed to benefit from this change and they became literate. Some were lucky enough to study abroad.
Today, girls have proved their mental capabilities by excelling more than their male counterparts at the level of higher education. Approximately 64 % of the university graduates are women. By the year 2003, equality in workplace was non-existent and effort had to be made to have women having a fair chance to getting jobs (Wilson & Graham, 2003). Women in Saudi Arabia are no longer afraid to express their views fully as some even note: “As a Feminist, I am on the Front Line” (the word of Wajeha al-Huwaider, a feminist in 2011 ) Initially, women were only involved in specific careers such as nursing and education. However, they have since taken root in other promising careers such as media, art, engendering, and law. The education of women has empowered them to fight for their rights in society and to be given a chance to improve the quality of their lives and that of the girl-child in general. This has reduced the influence of traditional cultures such as early marriages on impeding the education of the child (AlMunajjed, 2006).
Women activists in Saudi Arabia note that their male counterparts had mistreated and humiliated them for so long because they were afraid that the women could perform equally well in various fields, if not better. The young women in the country have displayed tremendous courage in refusing to be tied down to cultural practices, especially arranged marriages. They now work to become independent, to get a good education and to pursue the careers they desire. Women who go to study abroad are loyal to their comrades in the mother country (Rivera, 2004). They always come back to spearhead the fight for the rights of women and the girl child in the Saudi Arabian society.
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