Middle Eastern Women Trapped at Home

If you are reading this articles, more than likely you live in the United States or another country that allows freedom of the press, free speech, and other freedoms that Western society takes for granted. However, those freedoms do not exist for many Middle Eastern nations, and they particularly do not exist for women. There is no equality of the sexes in that part of the world. If you are a woman reading this, you may not realize that you are highly privileged if you enjoy the same freedoms that men do. Can you leave your home anytime you like? Can you go out and look for a job, or even if you have one, can you look for a better opportunity? Can you call up a friend and arrange to meet for coffee or dinner? Women in most Middle Eastern countries would love to have these opportunities, but they are stuck in archaic institutions that literally hold them hostage in their own homes.


There are actual rules in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and many other Middle Eastern countries that keep a woman trapped in her own home under the guardianship of her father, brother, or husband. She is restricted as to where she lives, works, or studies. There are real laws that require a woman to “obey” their husbands, live with them, or obtain their permission to leave the marital home, work, or travel.


Corporal punishment is common and not at all illegal. The husband or father has every right to beat the female if she leaves the home without permission. Many women will readily admit that they are prisoners in their own homes, but usually it is those who have had the privilege of some education and can read and write. Unfortunately there are many others who are not enlightened enough to know what they are missing. They are literally in the Dark Ages. Humans Rights Watch has published a new report that says, “it’s important to understand that violence against women doesn’t just include physical violence; it also includes restrictions on movement.”


How can we readers take action? We can pray. We can pray for enlightenment to take hold in these reclusive regimes. We can pray the power of the Holy Spirit to embolden those brave enough to stand up for women’s rights and speak out. We can pray for the influence of Western culture and its recognition of equal rights for both men and women to gain a foothold and begin to flourish in these restrictive nations.

Let us pray fervently for:

  • Lord God, open the eyes of the “blind” in these countries and give them your eyes to see the brutality and evil perpetrated against women in these countries, and stir their consciences to right the wrongs of the generations of violence and dominance over women (The Bible, Romans 12:21).
  • Lord God, give women and girls the hope to dream of cooperation if not full equality with men and boys (The Bible, 1 Timothy 3:10-12).