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COL 240 Mariam Mohamed Musabeh ID : 200701992 Phone # : 0502233050 December-2009


Content Introduction


Methodology and Result


Women Background


Women Today


Women Rights


The advantages and disadvantages


of working mother Conclusion




Introduction: 2

This paper argues that working women have a tough time balancing home and work. The research involved a survey of 25 students in Zayed University. The reason for choosing this particular topic is because women play an important role in society. The topic of working women is significant because each woman in the world needs to have the awareness of her rights and. For instance, Gulf women face many difficulties with the customs and the traditions of their communities. Also, the other obstacle that she faces is discrimination between her and men in many fields. Additionally, the research aims to keep people aware that women are half of the community and women can leave a huge footprint on the world. Therefore, this paper argues a comparison between the role of women in the past and today through social and practical fields, women rights and the advantages and disadvantages of being a working mother.

Methodology: I have done a survey on Zayed University students, about working women in the United Arab Emirates because I wanted to know the opinion of people on working women in this society and to have their other views in this area. In addition, the survey helped me to find out the community perspective of working women in general. Before doing my survey I 3

wanted to know if Emirati women perused their rights in the workforce, if there are inequities and the kind of problems that they face. The survey includes eight closed questions and two open questions. (See appendix).

Result: My survey was distributed to all only Zayed University students, I did twenty-five surveys, but only eighteen of them were answered. The survey includes ten questions, Eight questions were closed and two were open questions. The first question was the agreement of working Emirati women; the answer was 100% agree. In addition, I have noticed through my question about the student’s opinion of working Emirati women with men, that 50% agree with that and the other, disagree. Another question was about the equality between men and women in the workplace, and all the answers were there is no equality. In other words, they all think that Emeriti women suffer from gender discrimination. Also, I asked a question of the sectors that Emeriti women prefer to work in. 80% answered that women prefer working in the public sector, 20% answered that women prefer having their own business. The two open questions were what difficulties do working women face in the workplace? The other one was what difficulties do working women face at home. A lot of students answered that women face difficulties in work by dealing with men according to their home environment, dealing with difficult situations, managerial roles. On the other hand, the difficulties that working women face at home are the family rights such as, balancing between the home and the work and problems in keeping the children with the housemaids during the work time. Also, they have problems in managing their time.

Women Background: Women are known to not have the same rights as men all over the world in the past however this was not seen in the Gulf region. There are many things that specifically differentiate the Gulf region from any other region and culture where women have almost all 4

the rights and equity they need. The secret behind all this is the introduction of Islam and its traditions among the people(Ebeid,2009). According to my grandmother Alia, years ago and before all the discoveries of technology, the role of women was to take care of the children and the house. Other roles were to help the husband in providing a suitable environment and security for their children, this means that the woman used to work and make some income for the family and by that the woman has some of the rights that the men did. Women used to work in tailoring and in other fields that did not require her to use much effort( Mohmed,2009). She added “women from the gulf region have entered history from the widest doors, their role in wars as nurses, swordswomen, spies and many other roles made them more important than the men as they were part of the social environment and without them men in war will not be cured, people will not be able to sit in a house without a woman because her role is to cook clean and make sure everything goes right as planned�. Many writers have mentioned in their articles that women did not have any rights in the past and her role is basically to sit in the house and make sure everything goes right as planned. However, in the Gulf region it is very rare to find a lady that did not finish at least her high-school degree ( Mohmed,2009). From the past to the present, women in the Gulf region are having their rights and are becoming more qualified than some of the men in their work sectors. Women work as engineers, pilots, ambassadors, politicians and doctors and are becoming more and more familiar from the Gulf and spreading world-wide. Women do have more commitments than men when they do work because their role will be more than just a mother and a caring wife but also a hard working person that produces something for the economy(Salloum,2003). Rory Miller and Mishal al Sabah have shown that research done in the past few years about the role of women in the Gulf region and compared to the western women showes that women in the Gulf region do have what westerns call limited rights and now have almost gained equal rights but from researches from the Gulf region they do say the total opposite about the entire situation of the rights(Miller & al Sabah,2009). Each culture has its own beliefs and do see other cultures as different from the one they are living in. People from western countries will say that women in the Middle East have no rights at all and women from the Gulf will say the same as the western ladies. This is 5

because of not experiencing the life in their culture and the impact of the media on updates of what happened to the case of the women rights and so, as known the media always focuses on the side effects of an event so they do gain viewers and this creates a huge gap between different cultures in understanding the true role of women in the Gulf and other regions(Salloum,2003).

Women Today: Since the discovery of oil the role of women in UAE society and the other Gulf countries has steadily expanded. The UAE government recognized the validity of women contributing in the workplace. Like other traditional societies, UAE's women have their role in the workplace. In the light of the ongoing modernization of society and its economy, working women require knowledge and skills necessary which are targeted strategically by education programs developed by the government. The development of Emirati women started on the General Women's Union was established in 1975, by Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the UAE General Women's Union and President of the Arab Women's Organization. It is aimed at raising Arab women in each sector, supporting the women to be successful and following up the different women organizations in the U.A.E and other countries. So, in each of the seven emirates there are a women associations. (Salloum,2003). The UAE government provided all the needs of Emirati women to promote these efforts. Significant efforts were also made by the country to enable women to exercise their right to learn and established schools, universities, institutes and educational institutions. Also, the government gave women the equal rate to the proportion of men in the qualifying courses, scientific missions, human resource development and opened for her the horizons to be able to exercise her role and competence of the scientific and professional. As a result of this facilities, the UAE is among the most developed countries in educating females, as United Nation statistics indicate(Salloum,2003). After educating, women in the UAE can work as teachers, doctors and leaders. Also, they can join the police forces and the army in� Khawla bint al Azwar Military School�. Women working outside and leaving their houses is a difficult issue. According to Pat McChristie, women in general suffer from a sense of guilt, if she did not work and sat at 6

home; she believes that she should be contributing financially and support her family (1997). As well as if she is working, she is worried about her children. In addition, in some cases it imperative for women going out to work for some reasons. According to the fact sheet of the Australian Better Health channel, nowadays, many families can no longer afford to live on one wage (2009). Therefore, the cost of living has necessitated the work of both spouses, in order to raise the living things of life to them, their children, and their families. The second reason can be the role of political and economic institutions that have guaranteed the employment, and it encourages the women to work and upgrade their level and contribute in their economic development. This too applies to Emirati women. Finally, some women feel bored and depressed at home.

Women Rights: The Gulf women have many rights. The common rights that each woman in the Gulf or in the world aims for are the freedom, security, autonomy, justice, and other economic and political and social rights. Despite the noteworthy increase in the number of women entering the labor market, the participation rate of women in the labor market remains low. In the workplaces, some of the women’s rights were wasted and she still faces these hidden biases in the labor market. This can be called sex discrimination which is unfair because of the sex. In some societies there are rejected of the leadership role of women. According to Özlem Kulle, the reason of the lack of women improvement in the work place is that the women are not ready to make the essential sacrifices from their relations and family life and responsibilities to climb the job ladder. (2009) This is because of the social and cultural constraints imposed on her which limits her role in specific areas. However, A recent article on Arab and Gulf women published by the BBC in 2005 suggest big changes have been implemented. An example of an young Emirati lady Fatma Mohamed Haj, presents her challenge story to be a radiologist. She faced some difficulties from her family. So, how can she touch men? This is prohibited in the religion and in the culture of the United Arab Emirates. Also, this job is until midnight, but in our culture it is shameful that the young lady be out after 10 pm. Even though, the all difficulties that face the women in the work, some women try to take her rights as well as they can. To illustrate, young ladies who studies in Dubai says that they will not marry a man who would not let 7

them to work or study (Sharp,2005). Maria Qassimi a student of business marketing said "I've worked very hard to have a career, and I don't want to just blow it off,". However, Ms Mazam a student counselor in Dubai Women's College clarified that each working women can ease her father and husbands concerns by arranging them a visit to her potential workplace.

The advantages and disadvantages of working mother : According to the fact sheet of the Australian “Better Health channel”, having the mother as a working individual in a household did create so many conflicts, some of which do have a solution to, and others which do not have a solution to(2009). On the other hand it has so many advantages but before talking about the disadvantages let’s focus on the disadvantages. The disadvantages of having the mother work are many. Some of which are like the mother will have to take the assistant of a babysitter to help her take care of the child while she works. This will cause the child to be influenced by the babysitter which will mean that the child will not have the same exact beliefs of all of the family (McClure, n.d).Anothers disadvantage is the family bond between children and parents, due to the reasons that the children will spend more time with their babysitters and less time with their parents they will have a bigger connection with their babysitters than their parents which will cause the children not to be transparent to their parents about some issues and hide others because there are scared(McClure, n.d). In addition, there is a study proved that by the increase of the women employment rate, the birth rates declined and the rates of divorce increased(Randall ,2003). According to the fact sheet of Australian “Better Health channel”, most of working mothers stressed or exhausted to have sex, so that led the women feel sad and guilty concerning of the losing of their sex lives. Also, they also dislike their husbands for not doing the housework or other home duties (2009). Logically, the husband is the one who worked and make his best efforts to support the family, protect, guard and lead them. However, the women job is to be responsible as mothers or wives and make immense social sacrifices to provide the attention to satisfying those roles (working wives, n.d). The negative effects not just influence the husbands and the children, it also impacts the working women’s psychological status. When the women have other responsibilities outside the home, subsequently she will suffer from higher stress and tension. So, working outside the home 8

will influence her behavior at work and at home. Also, she will not have enough time for her children, husband and friends sometime so as well the conflict of course will increase. Consequently, it will be hard to deal with her because she might be more irritable and impatient (working wives, n.d). However, the advantages of having a mother as a working individual are few which might differ from one family to another. Those advantages are like, backing up the husband in providing cash to the family so that they provide a better education and safety to the children. Also that the mother will be able to depend on herself and have experience in making money which is something important in cases of a divorce or a death of a husband and the time she spends with her children id quality time because it is limited (Better Health channel, 2009).

Conclusion :

In conclusion, this paper argued the a comparison between the role of women in the past and today roles through the social and the practical fields and the society view of her, women rights by mentioning some examples of women experiences in the workplace. Also, this paper found the main advantages and disadvantages of working mother through the rights of the children and the husbands. However, much is still to be done in women rights by provide the women more facilities in the workplace to save her family and to maintain the structure of society. So, the more that the community gave her, the more she do her best in order to improve it.

References: Ebeid,R ,( 2009), Arab women on the move, altmuslim, Retrieved December 14,2009, from


McClure, R.(n,d,), Before You Leave Your Kids at Home: Warning Signs of a Bad Babysitter,, Retrieved: October25, 2009, from:

Miller,R. , & al Sabah, M. (2009). Gulf women in the workforce are key to nationalization. The National. Retrieved October 29,2009, from AID=/20091207/OPINION/712069938/1018

Mohamed, A (personal communication. December 15, 2009).

Randall, H, (2003). The woes of the working mother, believers web, Retrieved: December15 ,2009. From:

Salloum,H.(2003). Women in the United Arab Emirates. Find articles, Retrieved December 14,2009, from

Sharp,H. (2005). Dubai women storm world of work. BBC News. Retrieved December 14,2009, from

Working mothers - common issues.(n.d). Better Health channel . Retrieved December 14,2009, from mmon_problems


Working wives, (n.d.). Comfort & counsel, Retrieved: December 14, 2009 . from

Survey on Working Women

Please choose the right answer….  The age


22-28 11


38 and above

 Gender



 Occupation



Others (………….)

 Do you agree with Emarati women, working 

Agree 12


Neither Agree or Disagree

 Do you agree with Emirati women working with men ( mixed) 



Neither Agree or Disagree

 Do you think there is equality between men and women in workplace 



Not sure

 Do you think the working women can balance between her home and career? 




Not sure

 Where do most UAE women prefer to work 

Public sector

Private sector

Own business


 What difficulties do working women face . (list three) 

In work 1. -------------------------------------2. -------------------------------------3. --------------------------------------

In home 1. -------------------------------------2. -------------------------------------14

3. --------------------------------------

Reflection COL 240 is one of the most attractive English courses that I ‘am taking during this semester. It’s giving me the ability to choose any topic to write a report or essay about it. Doing a research paper in something that interested me, make the phases of doing it much more enjoyable and exciting. The course supports the student and provides them by lots of proposition to encourage them to be independent learners and to improve their general academic writing skill. In addition, the course is aiming for leading the students think critically about information and become better in using information and to develop their research strategies. 15

So, in this course I have done a research paper of working women in the United Arab Emirates. The research is doing in an organized way by going through several steps such as choosing a topic, gathering information, developing argumentative thesis statements, evaluating materials , argumentative writing, outlining the research paper, starting to write, citing and do the bibliography and then delivering the first and second drafts finally, presenting the paper. I really worked hard in this course to have a well done research and to get A at the end of the semester. Furthermore, I have read many articles and books to improve my way of writing, gain new vocabularies and information. Outlining my work helped me to implement my targets. Organizing myself make me express the feeling of relaxation and proud in having my work done on time with no pressuring at the end. Also, my English developed though the searching process and that by using new academic words. Furthermore, my grammar improved because I looked in many grammar websites to help me in my paper. However, I have not encountering any difficulties except citing or paraphrasing the other words. Though, my teacher helped me a lot in break these by practicing many tasks together in the class. My teacher has a big role in the achievement of my research paper. Her feedback was helpful and she did not stop advising and encouraging me and she always try to give me a confidence in myself. As a result, I ‘am proud in studying this particular course because it improves me in many fields. I have developed influential arguments, an apperception of the research process, and I have improved my skills of searching, evaluating, citing and reflecting


Working women  
Working women  

a research paper about working women