The Discrimination of Women in the Middle East in The Kite Runner, Persepolis and Women’s Rights, Human Rights

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While reading I have learned more about women‘s rights. In ancient times, Pharaoh’s and kings ruled nations and governments. Throughout time women have struggled to get the rights that men have had, in the books Women‘s Rights Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives by Julie Stone Peters and Andrea Wolper, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; l have been very interested in how women‘s rights have changed in the Middle East over the past century. The Kite Runner, Persepolis, and Women’s Rights Human Rights all talk about some of the struggles of women‘s discrimination in the Middle East. In the novel The Kite Runner, women do not receive the right to choose who they marry. The father of the man can arrange a marriage with the women‘s father. In Afghani culture, marriage is not about love but to strengthen families.

Women are discriminated against because the husband has much more power than the wife. At the end of The Kite Runner, Amir, the main character, marries Soraya. Even though Amir chooses who he wants to marry, he tells his father, and his father asks Soraya’s family. Even though they are in the United States, the fathers still have the final decision. Satrapi does not talk about marriage as much, although Marjane Satrapi does have many responsibilities, Marjane’s mother and grandmother spend a lot of time teaching and reminding her about what she should do at certain times of her life. Marjane does talk with her father about politics and other matters although she mostly communicates about her personal life with her female relatives and friends. In Women‘s Rights Human Rights the history of marriage is explained, In many countries, couples cannot get divorced or else they are badly punished.

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When a couple’s marriage is arranged, but they dislike each other, they cannot get divorced or else it is disrespectful to their religion and culture, In many cultures in the past, marriage would be a negotiation instead of loving a partner. “According to the Islamic Penal Code, A woman is worth half of a manr”. Marriage might unite two societies to strengthen the government. Many Kings and Queens would marry to rule more territory and create larger militaries, The idea of marrying someone for love is a much newer concept. A friend of mine was going to have an arranged marriage, but my friend’s parents decided to not have it, The Kite Runner has a terrible scene about a couple getting stoned for committing adultery. The scene was in a soccer stadium at half time in the game. The players left the field and a truck pulled up with the couple. They were stoned to death, and then the soccer game continued. The most interesting part to me was the attire of the fans and the couple getting stoned.

The fans were all men that were wearing white head coverings with white clothes, “I remembered how green the playing field used to be in the 70’s. Now the pitch was a mess. There were holes and craters everywhere, most notably a pair deep holes in the ground behind the south-end goalposts” Amir was confused about why there were so many holes in the ground until he witnessed the stoning. All of the men had beards and the one woman in the entire stadium getting stoned was in a dress that covered her entire body, I was surprised because women were not allowed to watch the game, and they all needed to cover their entire body. In the first chapter of Persepolis called The Veil, Marjane needs to wear a head covering.

She is upset by having to do this, so later in the book when she talks about going to Europe to study, she wears clothing that an average American would wear. In her time there, she gets hooked on American music like Michael Jackson and the Bee-Jees. When she came back home, she bought some pins with popular music artists on them to wear. A fundamentalist told her that she needed to cover her head with a veil. In Women‘s Rights Human Rights, it says that at the end of the 19‘” century women could not go to school and would have to work at home making clothes. In 1936, women did not need to wear traditional clothing with the help of Reza Shah, Reza Shah thought that women should have the right to dress the way they want to If their religion says they do not need to cover themselves and the women believes in the religion, then she should get to choose what she wears.

In The Kite Runner all of the political leaders were men. Women could not run for office in Afghanistan, Women had to work in the house making clothing or cleaning. Women were discriminated against in almost all leadership positions, Amir travels to the US. and meets Sorayai Soraya is able to get many more leadership positions than back in Afghanistan, The Kite Runner does not have as many women in it although women are discriminated against in Afghanistan In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi learned to stand up for herself and express herself with music. Marjane was not afraid to tell others what she believed. She was taught to lead others by her relatives. She did not agree with what the government was doing and wanted to help stop the chaos in her country, similar to Benazir Bhutto the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, In the book Women’s Rights Human Rights it talks about leaders in the World and the history that has taken place in the Middle East due to women’s discrimination. In 1907, the Constitutional Revolution was passed. This Constitution gave women more rights, but there were many unwritten laws that were present in Iranian culture and society.

In the Islamic code, a woman is worth half of a man. Aregime fired over 40,000 school teachers once the law was abolished because they were no longer allowed to work. The Family Protection Act helped women in the Middle East because it gave women the option to get a divorce and not have custody over the child, because before this act if a woman left a man it was disrespectful to the community, religion, and the wife would need to take the children with her, without any money. Finally, all three books were similar because they all talked about the difficulties women have in the Middle East. Although they took place in different countries with different religions and cultures, all women in the Middle East have struggled to receive the rights that they deserve. Many great leaders have tried to make laws that grant women better rights, but some regimes continue to remove these acts and petitions. As in the U.S., women’s rights have gotten better although there is still more that can be done.

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The Discrimination of Women in the Middle East in The Kite Runner, Persepolis and Women’s Rights, Human Rights. (2023, Apr 18). Retrieved from

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