Subordinate Groups

A subordinate group refers to a minority group whose affiliates possess significantly reduced power or control over their lives as compared to members or affiliates of a majority or a dominant group. Members of a subordinate group experience uneven treatment such as segregation, discrimination and even extermination to continue this social inequality. Minority group members have common cultural or physical characteristics and belong to that group but through involuntary means, i.e. they are born within the group. There exist four types of subordinate groups namely: race, gender, ethnicity and religion.  This document will focus on gender and more precisely the Middle Eastern women as a subordinate group in their society.

Middle Eastern women are a subordinate group that possesses minimal power over their lives. All power is vested in their male counterparts. Middle Eastern women have little or no say in issues regarding their families, children and property. General issues faced by women in the Middle East are accustomed to widespread stereotyping. For instance in Saudi Arabia women are disallowed to drive cars this represents the severe conditions throughout the region and within the broader Muslim region (Banda, 2008). The top positions within government are reserved for men grounded on dubious Hadith or set of sayings and deeds credited to Muhammad.

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Within family Middle Eastern women have no place since their only role is serving their husbands. Submissiveness is highly regarded and those who obey this are considered culturally fit. Women undergo sexual discrimination within the families and since they are not permitted to report such cases they remain silently oppressed (Banda, 2008). In terms of fashion women in the Middle East dressing is highly oppressive, the Hijab type of cloth they wear is meant to conceal every body part and women have no right to dress as they please.  The stereotyping begins at a very young age where boys are valued more than girls: the birth of a boy s celebrated more than that of a girl. Islam sanctions and perpetuates numerous sexist practices along with views such as polygamy, inheritance inequality, menstruation stigmatization and wifely husband obedience (Banda, 2008).

The discrimination of Middle Eastern women is a critical matter that is fostered by both religion and culture and I suppose that there is a need to save the women by education and sensitizing these cultures about the importance of empowering women (Banda, 2008). On a personal level, I think that discrimination against the Middle East women is discrimination against all women and this is a fight that should supported by all women globally. Though the liberalization concept is not easy, thos is an issue that largely hurts me and I usually have discussions with Islamic colleagues regarding the best ways to deal with this matter (Banda, 2008). Socializing with others with regards to this message does not affect my community since this is an issue that of concern to everyone. Women should be supported and empowered in the East, thus the message of attempting to locate and solve the discriminatory issues they undergo a daily basis is an aspect every community including mine would greatly support. The liberalization would not take a day but there exist those issues that could be solved in the short term such as leadership issues, inheritance and educational rights. These short-term solutions will lead into attainment of other freedoms in the long run.


Banda, F. (2008). Project on a mechanism to address laws that discriminate against women. Retrieved from:

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