Female Crime Rates Between the United States and Saudi Arabia

Treatment of Females and How it Affects Criminality

            In the early and middle of 1990s, there was an increased media focus on the increased rates of female involvement in crime. It is reported in (Kontos, Brotherton & Barrios, 2012) that during the period, the number of women joining gang memberships, involvement in drugs, possession of guns, violence and other activities that were seen as a preserve for men, was on the rise. Although a number of perspectives developed to explain the increased involvement of women in crime, one perspective stood above others; the feminist theory that increased female opportunities increased their likelihood of participation in crime. In this paper, this perspective will be examined through a comparison in female crime rates between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

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            The United States is one of the world’s most powerful states with also one of the largest gross domestic product. Unlike Saudi Arabia, United States ranks ahead in terms of human rights and gender equality. Saudi Arabia on the other hand is a conservative country with dominant Sharia laws the major cultural determinants, dictating the way men and women should behave (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Theft is one of the biggest crimes in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arab News, 2016). However, in this largest form of crime in the country, the Arabia News points that over 50% of such crimes committed in 2015 in the country were perpetrated by women. In comparison, according to (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, 2016) the female crimes cases in U.S have been increasing since 2010 at an average annual rate of about 3.4 %.

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            The treatment of females in Saudi Arabia and the United States show very small similarity, which owes mostly to how men perceive the roles of women in the society. Although the U.S culture is advanced and the roles of women have started to shift, women there are still disparities between women and men in terms of public office and economic activities. The same is true of Saudi women, where they still receive less favorable treatment compared to men in terms of public office positions. However, there are great differences between the way women in the U.S and those of Saudi Arabia are treated.

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            The women in the United States enjoy the greatest freedom and rights than those of Saudi Arabia. Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to participate in sports, drive cars, and hold public offices or even to vie or vote in national elections (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Moreover, women must obtain permission from male guardian in order for them to travel, exit prison or marry. They also face problems in filing legal claims or from renting apartments. In contrast, women in U.S have exclusive rights to all the rights that Saudi Arabia women do not have. For example, whereas women were allowed to vote and seek for public office in Arabian Congress, they were not allowed to talk to men while seeking for votes. In contrast the U.S had the record number of women seeking for office in Congress and they have freedom of seeking for votes from any gender without restrictions.

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            Although there are differences between the U.S and the Saudi Arabia regarding the way women are treated, the greatest rise in crime rates among women has been noted in Saudi Arabia. This can be attributed to inequality and other nature of social and cultural limitations that women face as outlined in (Arab News, 2016). According to the authors, the increase in number of women in crime in Saudi Arabia could be attributed partly to their poor economic status caused by the cultural limitations on their roles in society.       

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The understanding of the way women are treated in other countries will positively impact my workplace relationships. It will allow me to appreciate the big role that women can do within the society given that though it was originally felt that women deserve less, learning about the nature of treatment that women in Saudi Arabia undergo has increased the desire to have more women actively participate in workplace roles. In order to build effective relationships and bridge cultural differences, it is important to be culturally competent. This entails having knowledge about the culture of the other and knowing how to treat them based on their culture. This includes avoidance of prejudice that can possibly result from cultural differences.

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