Let’s think about it…taking the culture and customs into consideration, who really has it better in Saudi Arabia? The Man or the Woman? True, women cannot drive but that means a man is expected to either transport the woman where she needs to go or to provide a driver for her. The Saudi man is expected to take care of the woman. For example he is to provide her housing, clothing, furnishing of the house in a manner to which she is accustomed. He is also expected to give her spending money for herself and which she is not accountable. On the other hand if the Saudi woman is working, her income is her own. She is not mandated to share it in any way with her husband. Her savings are her own.
Interestingly I was chatting with some Saudi friends about this very topic. The predominant view among them (male and female) was that the female had it better than the man. The man has more pressure and responsibilities attached to the fact that he is a man. He must work; he must provide; he should not ask his wife for contributions or expect her to contribute. The Saudi guys shared that in their observation the women enjoy having their needs met by the men and most women realize they are treated like a queen in that regard.
Most women are provided with a housemaid, a driver and no pressure applied to them to contribute financially to a household. As a result it is not unusual for many of these women to enjoy taking various classes at either universities or other institutions and perhaps at some juncture taking a part time job. Why not since the majority of tasks within the home are overseen and taken care of by the housemaid. The man on the other hand not only has to provide for his wife but is usually expected to provide for his mother and sisters too (especially if they are widowed). The Saudi men with whom I have spoken feel that a woman cannot understand the constant pressure they are under as the primary provider for so many view women as cherished and cosseted.