The position of women in Muslim societies, especially in West Asia, has been a subject of constant conjecture. Traditional mindsets and cultural hindrances have long kept women behind the veil, leaving them at the mercy of a male-dominated society. A widely prevalent notion is that women in these countries are discriminated against far more than their counterparts in other parts of the world. There is more than an iota of truth in such a perception. But, as the present study finds out, the situation in the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—is not as black and white as it seems. A closer analysis reveals each of these states striving in its own way to provide “the other half” of the population with better rather than equal opportunities. Despite notable success, each state has its own scales of progress and expectedly has many more miles to go.
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