Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most conservative countries in the world, especially in regard to the status of women. Saudi Arabia is an extreme Islamic country where its legal code is based on Shari’a Law. They therefore believe that there is no separation between church and state and the state’s laws are heavily based on Islamic teachings. Because of this strict Islamic culture, women in Saudi Arabia are treated and acknowledged very differently than the women who live in the west. For example, in Saudi Arabia, there are laws that require women to wear a hijab, a head scarf, as well as dress in loose, long garments that do not show the shape of the woman’s body. To do so would be shameful and secular. There are other laws such as this one that are meant to protect the virtue of women in Saudi Arabia.
Knowing this about Saudi Arabia, I had assumed that women there would be relatively safe since there are such strict laws regarding the protection of a woman’s virtue. I assumed incorrectly when I was studying a WomanStats map that displayed the rape scale of each country in the world. On a scale from one to five, Saudi Arabia had a ranking of a four. I was confused by this since, as briefly described above, Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most conservative countries in the world where women are highly secluded. I would have thought these practices and laws would have decreased the rape rate substantially.
The question I pose then is this, why does Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative countries in the world have one of the highest rape scales in the world?
While there are many interconnecting reasons why rape occurs so often in Saudi Arabia, I have chosen four possible causes to narrow down the research for this project. The four causes I have chosen are one, a secular society, two, insufficient laws, three, taboos against reporting rape and four, an ineffective judicial system.