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The Hillary DoctrineSex and American Foreign Policy$
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Valerie Hudson and Patricia Leidl

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164924

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164924.001.0001

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A Conspicuous Silence

A Conspicuous Silence

U.S. Foreign Policy, Women, and Saudi Arabia

(p.145) 4 A Conspicuous Silence
The Hillary Doctrine

Valerie M. Hudson

Patricia Leidl

Columbia University Press

This chapter studies the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst countries for females, ranking 145th out of the 158 countries in the U.N. Development Programme's Gender Inequality Index. Mobility is one of the most vexing problems facing Saudi women. Women are forbidden to drive, and may only leave their homes while covered from top to bottom in the black abaya, and accompanied by a male guardian. Gender segregation is also extreme; because of the cultural interdictions against unrelated men and women occupying the same location at the same time, and despite the significant rise in female labor force participation over the past decade, only 17.7 percent of women work outside of the home, compared to 74.1 percent of all males. Also, a woman's testimony is only worth half of a man's. If a woman is raped, she needs to produce four male witnesses to corroborate her testimony—effectively giving complete freedom to rapists and pedophiles.

Keywords:   Saudi Arabia, subjugation of women, Gender Inequality Index, Saudi women, abaya, gender segregation, women's human rights

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