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08 April, 2007

Single in the City

Spinsterhood or second-wifedom? An easy decision for educated Emirati women in Sharjah. Faced with being eternal bachelorettes or having to share a husband, it's single all the way:

Sharjah: The majority of Emirati women would prefer spinsterhood to being a second wife, according to statistics revealed at a workshop held at one of the leading universities in Sharjah.

"The findings reflect the microcosm of Emirati society, and this survey is relevant to the development of society," said Jihad Fahreddine, Media Research Manager of the Pan Arab Research Centre.


Also encouraging: only 1% of women said they planned to stay at home after graduating, with 65% planning to find work immediately. Vive la revolution.

15 Comments:

Blogger BuJ said...

I got it all except the last sentence.. is this a new perfume?
Do women stay single longer based on what they wear? I'm lost!

08 April, 2007 03:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

solution: emirati women ought to be forced to marry 'infidels' only, thus avoiding having to share them with anything but football and beer.

08 April, 2007 10:47  
Blogger Sex and Dubai said...

We still remain cynics. It's all nice in theory but how many really follow through on the practical.

Work after babies? Highly unlikely. Who'd do all the shopping and vacationing?!

Although to be fair - if the trend evolves this way then we're two of its flagrant cheerleaders.

08 April, 2007 12:54  
Blogger ann said...

Emirati women are unlikely to have to put their dirham where their mouth is. It's all a numbers game really.

See, the local population is close to a 50/50 split of males and females (as are most). So for every man with two wives there would be a man with none. For every man with three wives there would be two men with none.

Multiple-wife cultures almost always emerged when there was a social numerical need for men to take care of more than one women, for example, when only a minority of men had the economic means to support a family. But in the modern UAE, with generous housing hand-outs to all Emirati males, almost unlimited employment opportunities and of course the Marriage Fund, who can't afford a wife?

So second-wifedom is conceptually unsustainable. The girls have nothing to worry about - their man in a white dishdasha is out there somewhere.

08 April, 2007 23:41  
Anonymous Bored in LaGuardia said...

Ann: the biggest problem is not a demographic imbalance in the country, but the fact that many of the white dishdashes would rather have a wife from Morocco or Tunisia. Couple this with the fact that Emirati women lose their citizenship (and children lose their birthright) if they marry a non-national. Now, as an Emirati woman you have a problem: remain single or give up your seat on the gravy train.

The same problem exists in Kuwait, where some mufti recently encouraged polygyny as a way to deal with the spinster problem there.

09 April, 2007 00:01  
Blogger Harsha said...

I thought there were more emirati women than men

09 April, 2007 00:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol i had to survey emarati women for this pan arab research project, it was actually nice to see the reaction of the young women when being asked such qs.to some its not even discussable, to others its just a last resort..

09 April, 2007 01:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

........... Emirati women lose their citizenship if they marry a non-national ........

Do they? That sounds like a major breech of human rights!

09 April, 2007 16:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polygamy is good. The other alternative is single parenthood, illegitimate children, multiple affairs and so many other undesirables outcomes.

I am not hypothesizing here, there are many examples one could use in many countries without polygamy.

We like it the way it is, thank you.

09 April, 2007 19:22  
Anonymous fake balushi said...

Its good, More women for me.

09 April, 2007 19:30  
Blogger BuJ said...

Ann: Not sure where you get your facts from or what your background is.

However I do implore you to speak to UAE National males who have just got married (or done so in the last 5 years).. also have a chat with the guys who are looking to get married and ask them if it's financially feasable.

Things like the marriage fund help but are not sufficient. I believe you get upto 70k with loads of strings attached. A typical Emirati wedding would cost at least 150k. not to mention typical costs:

-dowry
-dresses
-cards (yes they are expensive)
-honeymoon (has to be at least a month)
-new house

and as you will see it amounts to an expensive adventure even for an Emirati.

The main problem is the cultural stigma attached with marriage in the UAE. Sadly it has outpriced most young men out of the market.

Finally UAE women do not lose their citizenship if they marry out, but they are unable to pass on their citizenship to their kids. The point of view is that they should follow the father's nationality (the same way they take his name).

10 April, 2007 01:43  
Blogger Sulayman said...

Half the college women in America say they will settle down and raise a family after college. Sharjah's 1% is actually discouraging to me.

14 April, 2007 06:44  
Blogger Rabbit said...

Great to hear the stats! Women have so much to offer society and they deserve the freedom and the independence!

15 April, 2007 17:00  
Blogger Pixie said...

I still don't understand- If you stay at home and look after a family , you give up independance and freedom?

I don't know about you but I think those women deserve an applause - it's not easy bringing up a kid( I was one (-love me mum) and I am not planning to have any children cuz I know I just can't do the job!)

I think women are lucky that they have the option of sitting at home and taking care of their family or working unlike men - Who society will mark "useless" if they are stay at home dads.

I think independance and freedom has got more to with you doing what you want rather than society's idea that a working woman is living an "ideal, independant" life. Warped revolution views!

About men having 4 wives, In Islam that rule came out only because once upon a time there were many orphans and slave women taken advantage of and to save them from disgrace, the permission was given only on the condition "if you can be just and your wives are happy you can marry 1 2 3 or 4 otherwise marry just one or even none is better"

What is happening in the Arab world (and elsewhere too) is overly virile men taking advantage of this once applicable rule and they don't even care wether the women are happy or not. The women have the freedom of applying for a divorce or not getting married which some of them (good going ladies) according to the blog are deciding.

But I have a word for these "virile selfish bastards" and I doubt even blogspot can take it, so I shall keep it to myself and get on with my tired working woman's life. Maybe I should have chosen to stay at home and get my guy to do all the work..sigh

09 December, 2007 16:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm an Emirati woman and I'm happily married to a Bahraini national and residing in Bahrain. I certainly have not lost my Emirati citizenship just because I have married a non-national! The only gripe I have is the fact that my children will not be able to attain my citizenship, which I feel is a shame. I wouldn't have lost my citizenship even if I married a Brit, so there you go. And I certainly would not have contemplated the idea of being wife no.2 etc. What a backward idea. I'd rather have been a spinster.

12 June, 2008 17:19  

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