Women’s Human Rights in Saudi Arabia and U.S.-Saudi Relations

Research Paper (undergraduate) from the year 2014 in the subject Politics – International Politics – Topic: Public International Law and Human Rights, grade: 1, course: Research Methods, language: English, abstract: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has faced criticism from the world community for perceived human rights violations. At the same time, the United States imports one million barrels of oil from the Kingdom every day, and provides protective and military services there. The current research focuses on conditions for women in Saudi Arabia as well as the importance of a working economic relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia and American public opinion on the topic. Literature was collected to explore the topic of human rights- what they are and when people really have them. Research was also studied about the circumstances that women in Saudi Arabia are subjected to daily and the effects that these circumstances have on women’s social capital and ability to flourish, especially in regard to education. A third factor considered when the literature was chosen was US-Saudi relations, with an emphasis on how much is at stake in the relationship, and how US interaction with Saudi Arabia might benefit those who traditionally suffer in the current conditions of the Kingdom. It was found that human rights may best be measured by their enjoyment, not through the traditional measurement of enacted laws and policies. Studies conducted in Saudi Arabia show that women in that nation do not enjoy basic human rights as defined by the United Nations, as well as by the traditional American value system. The studies reviewed also reveal that the US cutting ties with Saudi Arabia will be a difficult task at best, and may even be detrimental to the well-being of that nation’s marginalized groups. Further study is needed to determine if American public opinion points to a desire for the US to separate itself from Saudi Arabia due to differing policies regarding human rights