Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Bienvenido a Miami

It’s hot here. Really hot. Humid and hot. So hot that I’m sitting inside, blogging.

And ah, what freedom to post about things not related to Morocco without feeling like I’m disappointing the majority of those who read my blog (people looking for travel information on Morocco, judging by the stats). In fact, the first thing I want to share with you, faithful reader (whenever I write that, I think of Craig Ferguson referring to himself as “TV’s Craig Ferguson” and I giggle), is this article by a Proud Saudi Woman (her caps), which came to me by way of Myrtus. If you’re like me and too lazy to click links, here’s a paragraph I agree with:

I sense the jealousy of many Western and Eastern women I meet in international events when I tell them that my male colleagues — who financially take care of their families — earn a monthly salary equal to what my female colleagues and I make. Equality in the salary scale for men and women has been achieved in an admirable way in the Kingdom. I usually see resentment on the faces of foreigners when I question why they can’t convince their leaders that women deserve the same amount of money men take, especially when they do the same jobs as men with the same amount of effort, efficiency and time and they have the same qualifications. I ask how they accept being paid less when they work an equal number of hours and achieve the same results. What I understand according to their laws is that they are paid less simply because they are women.

And one that I’m just not buying…

As for women having a mahram (male legal guardian), I really laughed about CEDAW’s objection to the idea. I’m a Saudi woman who doesn’t leave the country without having an official delegation that takes care of me and looks after my needs when traveling. Having a mahram is just like having official delegations accompanying VIPs and political leaders. If Britain’s queen or the American president agreed to travel without a high caliber delegation that included security, diplomatic, media and administration cadre, then I might agree to be deprived of my mahram.

While I would be thrilled to be guaranteed the same pay as a male in my position (mind you, I am not referring to my actual job here – NPOs are far better at pay equality than corporations), I would in no way ever want to be constantly accompanied by one.  And so it goes – Ms. Al Jalahma has done a good deed indeed – showing us the wonderful and not-so-fantastic sides of life as a Saudi woman (and even more commendably, she has presented them both favorably).

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations on your new site; It looks good. I came across your blog quite by chance. I enjoyed reading some of your postings and I am looking forward to reading more. I took the liberty of adding a link to your site on my blog – http://cabalamuse.wordpress.com. I hope you don’t mind. Stop by and check it out whenever you have a chance.
    Ahmed

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