of Values  



Gulf Cooperation Council
Network for Drylands Research & Development

شبكة دول
مجلس التعاون الخليجي لدراسات

الأراضي القاحلة و التطوير

Change of Social Values as a Structural Indicator


Gender Issues –
oles in Traditional Social Systems

A study among Al Saar Bedouin shows that the augmented urban migration of the male population resulted in increased labor for women and, at the same time, denied them the economic benefits of government programs designed to improve the welfare of nomadic families.

The women in the study were left alone taking care of all the animals and the community. Traditionally in this social system women usually tended only the sheep and goats, while men herded the camels. In addition to caring for animals, producing food, and caring for the household, nomadic women also engaged in a variety of crafts. However, because they were not entitled to a separate citizenship card, being listed merely as dependents, they were unable to apply for livestock subsidies or to participate in the loan scheme issued through government-run service centers near their summer grazing areas. Likewise, women were according to Saudi jurisdiction denied the use of motorized vehicles, now ubiquitous among nomadic families and indispensable for transporting wood and water and for transportation between the encampment and the herds as well as to government service centers. Resulting to the limitation of the illegal use of the pick-up truck to remote areas where it could not be seen by government authorities.

One result of the increased burden on the female members of nomadic ethnic groups has been the social reorganization of labor based on the combined efforts of women. This manifests in women with infants carrying out the traditional female role of child care and food preparation, whereas older women, widows, and women without infants cared for the herds and also sold their animals at the service stations, another task traditionally the responsibility of men.


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