The Middle East has been constantly changing and developing. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, although being the most restricted country of the region, has not resisted those transformations, either. Regardless of the pace of changes, which are rather evolutionary than revolutionary, a progress in social reforms in Saudi Arabia is consistent and visible. The government has acknowledged that admitting women to social and political life of the Kingdom is necessary for the sake of the country. Improving the status of women and granting them more social rights is one of the government's most important and most cautious activities which requires the necessity of reconciliation between the standards of modern statehood and the dogmas and principles of strict (Wahhabian) interpretation of Islam. Nobody, optimistic liberals included, has an illusion that final changes could take less than few generations. However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is capable of becoming alike Qatar, Oman or Bahrain - a modern Islamic country where political and social life is shared by its male and female citizens.
A. Oleksy, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Instytut Filologii Orientalnej, al. A. Mickiewicza 9/11, 31-120 Kraków, Poland
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