Restrictions on Women’s Rights Around the World

By Tonka Dobreva 01.26.2015 interact

As you learned from the show today, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving. The government, which follows strict Islamic law, refuses to issue licenses to women. Also in Saudi Arabia, women still can’t vote.

Below we take a look at other countries in the world that place severe restrictions on women’s rights:

Lesotho: Women are restricted from owning land.

In this African nation, a woman cannot have independent ownership to property or land without co-signing with a man. This can be either her husband or father. Widows can also lose their homes when their husbands pass away.

Yemen: Women are considered only half a witness. 

In Yemeni courts, the testimony of a woman is not taken as seriously as the testimony of a man. According to a 2005 Freedom House report, women are not “recognized as a full person before the court” and their testimonies are often dismissed completely. Exempt from the rule are only cases in which no men were present, or if a woman’s testimony is backed by a man.

Saudi Arabia:  Only girls in private schools can play sports.  

Why? Because it goes against the traditional role of women. In the male-dominated country, sports have always been reserved as an activity for men. Women weren’t even allowed to enter a stadium to watch a game. Progress was made with the entrance of two women in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games; however, if a woman wishes to play any sport, at any time, she must do so in the privacy of her home.

Jordan: Muslim women are forbidden to marry non-Muslims.

Muslim men are allowed to marry non- Muslims as well as Muslim women because the children are most often recognized by their father’s name, culture, tradition and beliefs. So if a woman marries a non-Muslim man, their marriage will be unrecognized because the man cannot pass down the Muslim religion, culture and traditions.

Swaziland: Women are banned from wearing pants.

Wearing pants is considered a disrespect of local traditions. Just recently, a chief banned a woman from participating in an election nomination because she wore trousers. Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarch, and though its king, Mswati III, believes a chief should be respected, he has yet to condemn the outlawing of pants.



  1. Kely@peace

    It’s outrageous that treating women so horribly and controlling them is part of the law of some countries. Why do men think they are better than women only because they are a different sex?! Imagine what their opinion would be like of they were the ones being controlled in every aspect of their life instead of women. Think about it.

    • Ok

      Not all men are like that, and most countries that do have restrictions on women’s rights are because of religion purposes.

  2. addy love

    Its really…sorry to see such kind of treatments..GOD protect Women

  3. Caiti Turner

    It isn’t right to discriminate another gender. It is wrong.

  4. leah M.

    i feel like women should be treated just like men are in every way. We are people just like men and have every right to do anything men may/can do.

    • addy love

      Yeah…you deserve equal rights as us…we should fight against gender inequality

  5. Mallory Monaghan

    I personally do not think that women should be treated differently than men. Discrimination against sex is the same thing as being sexist. When given the right, women can do just as wonderful things as men. Take into consideration Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Also, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to get a medical degree. To balance opinions–especially in government–women should be able to do the same things as men. Why should women be trapped in their own little box with men controlling them and making all of the rules? Women can be just as intelligent as men and do great things. Being sexist is just as bad as being racist, people think segregation is bad. Why not discrimination against women? We are equal. Without women there would be no men, and without men there would be no women.

  6. Mallory Monaghan

    I personally do not think it is right to treat women different than men. It is considered discrimination against sex or being sexist. If women are given the right, they can do great things. Take into consideration Amelia Earhart, she was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Also, Elizabeth Blackwell who was the first woman to get a medical degree. To balance opinions–especially in government–women and men should be able to do the same things. Women and men can be equally intelligent and they can just as great things. Being sexist is just as bad as being racist, nobody thinks segregation is a good thing. Why should women be put in their own little box and have their own rules made by men? Men shouldn’t control women, we are equal. Without women their would be no men and without men their would be no women.

  7. leah & jordanne

    i feel that women rights are important. Women should have the same rights as men. Women are important building blocks of our economy,culture,government, and last of all women should have every right to drive because…WOMEN ARE SUPERIOR DRIVERS…via the all state commercial. signed Leah And Jordanne…<3

  8. Austin Dillon

    I don’t think treating women differently from men are right

  9. Jadyn Holt

    I think it is wrong for anybody to take any rights away from women, some women have helped design our country so in some places they are just making harder on themselves. Women are very smart so don’t restrict their rights.

  10. tacobell

    me le gusta chocolate

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