Decades have passed and some social issues remain unresolved. Most members of the public consider these issues complicated and feel that they cannot be solved while other countries, including some Gulf states, view them as natural obstacles that can be overcome. Why is it that neighboring countries with which we have many things in common in terms of heritage, history and traditions, have solved these problems while we have not? People around the world are making fun of us.
Several of these issues are related to women driving, traveling and exercising. In other words, the main issues are about women. We have not taken any drastic action to end these problems. As a result, we continue to suffer socially and economically. I would like to focus here on those detractors who describe male guardians who allow their female relatives to work in the medical field as men who lack in manhood.
I do not understand why these people hold this viewpoint. It is really a shame and a disgrace. Do they want our hospitals and pharmacies to be run by expatriate doctors and nurses? Why do they accuse male guardians of not being proper men? What if there was a war or some sort of dispute that led to these expatriate nurses and doctors returning home, what would we do?
Around two decades ago, our country experienced tough and harsh economic conditions. We had to find an alternative income source. One of the suggested solutions was to impose a tax on expatriate workers in our country. When the medical circles got wind of the suggestion, many expatriate doctors and nurses working for a big hospital in Riyadh went on strike.
Work at the hospital came to a complete halt, which resulted in exacerbating the health conditions of some patients who were suffering from dangerous medical problems. The imposition of taxes on expatriates never materialized because we did not have Saudi replacements that could run the hospital.
Today, there are some Saudis who are against giving women an efficient role in building our economy and permitting them to take on more social roles. But if a disaster occurred and our security conditions deteriorated and expatriate workers decided to leave our country, we would suffer immensely as a result. We need to get rid of our illusions and eradicate all the social shackles that continue to prevent women from playing their natural role as partners of men.