The Role of Women in Omani Society

As Oman has developed into a modern, open state the changes in the way of life have contributed to changes in the prevailing practices and beliefs regarding women.

The government established literacy centers and made education compulsory for girls, and quite successfully! Since then the percentage of women studying has grown to the point that it became necessary to allocate quotas for men at the University of Muscat.

Additionally there are a variety of clubs and associations which are concerned with women's issues. These are entrusted with teaching, training and the expanding the number of possiblities for women. Whether or not a woman is married, she should be able to earn a living and contribute to the financial security of the family.

At many mosques one finds special prayer rooms especially for women. Women learn about religion and the Quran from other women who are specialized in these matters. To this end the "Center for the Religious Instruction of Women" was founded, where women also teach.

 

Political participation of women

Omani women today enjoy their full political rights by virtue of the law. Women are considered as much a part of society as men.

They hold ministerial posts and represent the Sultanate abroad as ambassadors. Female MPs are represented in the Majlis Ash Shura (Consultative Council) and Majlis Oman (full parliament). They have the right to stand and vote in elections. In the private sector, women work at all levels: as ordinary employees, in managerial positions and also as directors and owners. No industry is closed to women. They hold all kinds of official posts, serve in the military and make up almost half of all government employees. There is no gender gap in pay in Oman.

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  • Karin NowackKarin Nowack
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