Methods of Political Inquiry
Methods of Political Inquiry
Research Proposal: Womens Rights in the Gulf Region
Over the decades, the subject of the siege of women in the Middle East where people adhere to conservative Islamic norms has been a contentious issue. For a long time, women of all income levels have been labeled second-class citizens. Currently, they continue to face barriers to advancement due to restrictions on personal legal status, nationality laws, and rights to participate in the political life and labor force (Butler et al., 2015). Shockingly, these challenges are increasingly becoming harder seeing that a significant proportion of people think that discrimination against women no longer exists. Firm evidence from various research studies shows that a substantial deficit in womens rights persists in every country in the Middle East and is evident in almost every segment of their societies (Karshenas, Moghadam, & Alami, 2014). The issue of womens rights is especially a concern in the Gulf region where despite humongous efforts towards enacting political and social changes, women continue to face many challenges and problems in both social and personal life (Butler et al., 2015). Gulf countries such as Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arabs Emirates, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, and Kuwait are considered among the leading states with the widest gender gaps.
The key drivers of social change in the Middle East have traditionally been considered among the pillars of economic development and modernization. Over the last few decades, the ruling elites of the Middle East countries, especially the states of the Gulf region, have implemented liberalization policies intended to foster economic growth. Women have benefited in numerous ways from such policies. However, they still face numerous challenges because they hail from Islamic countries that hold controversial universal laws that promote inexplicable gender perspectives (Seikaly, Roodsaaz, & van Egten, 2014). For example, a strong sense of male dominated leadership is still prevalent in these countries. Womens rights are ignored and for this reason, the gender equality continues to be a thing of the past. Therefore, many issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and domestic abuse result from social practices, which makes women submissive to men. According to Seikaly et al. (2014), millions of women in the Gulf region live and work under oppressive systems. Many Gulf countries have persisted in implementing systems so that women continue to be under-age throughout life, and male counterparts or husbands oversee most of their conducts. In effect, women are barred from having certain jobs and engaging in activities such as driving. Besides, they cannot undergo certain medical procedures without an approval of the male.
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The womens rights situation in the Gulf region demands more detailed socio-cultural, political, and economic analysis. The ideal method for this would be a research study conducted through descriptive and exploratory research designs of cross-sectional type (Creswell, 2013). The best participants in such a research study would be women of all income levels exposed to the problems such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic abuse. Data would be collected through three principal methods, namely self-rating questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, and observations (Creswell, 2013). Upon receipt of data, they will be coded and examined for completeness and analyzed through SPSS, t-tests, and ANOVA. The results would then be presented in graphs, tables, and charts (Creswell, 2013).
Butler, T., Kaur, A., Adams, R., Ames, E., Bots, B., Capobianco, L., & Lezzi, O. (2015). Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Seattle, WA: University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Karshenas, M., Moghadam, V. M., & Alami, R. (2014). Social policy after the Arab spring: States and social rights in the MENA region. World Development, 64, 726-739.
Seikaly, M., Roodsaaz, M., & van Egten, C. (2014). Womens rights and gender equality. European Parliament/ Directorate for Internal Policies. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2014/509985/IPOL_STU%282014%29509985_EN.pdf
The Politics and Ethics of Research in International Relations: The UAE Foreign Policy
The United Arabs Emirates (UAE) comprises seven states situated in the Gulf region of the Middle East. The states, namely Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaymah, Umm Al-Quwain, Dubai, Ajman, and Fujairah, formerly protected by the United Kingdom, obtained independence on 2 December 1971 (Niblock, 2015). Since then, the UAE has adopted a stable foreign policy committed to the United Nations Charter, respect for international conventions, use of peaceful methods in the settlement of disputes, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The model for the UAE foreign policy was set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (UAE Interact, 2016). It focused on ways the UAE would best interact with other countries, regimes, and people. The model was admired by many in that it depicted wisdom, balance, and temperance without compromising on the duty of supporting the rights and fulfilling justice through the most important human approach (United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2013).
Among the fundamental anchors of the UAE foreign policy has been the establishment cooperation-based relations with other countries of the world. Currently, the UAE has entered into bi-lateral relations with above 60 nations. Furthermore, substantial development assistance has improved the UAEs stature among other recipient states. The country also provides financial help, especially to Muslim and Arab countries (Niblock, 2015). The political leadership of the UAE continues to operate with a foreign policy framework that emphasizes diplomacy, negotiations, and willingness to help the less fortunate. The country continues its commitments to its neighbors and the international community concerning the matters of regional peace, stability, and security (UAE Interact, 2016). To accomplish these goals, the UAE has emphasized moderation, tolerance, and respect for all people and religions. Relying on these aspects has enhanced the governments efforts to pursue active, balanced, and wide-ranging ties with the international community.
Without a doubt, the subject of the UAE would be a center of interest for many as a research study topic. Just like in any other research study on international relations, it would be mandatory for one to adhere to the politics and ethics of research in international relations. It is acceptable to note that people live in a dynamic and multidisciplinary environment, and as such, the study would encompass research ethics (Amstutz, 2013). International ethics is a fast growing segment of the international relations discipline. There is a need to be aware of the moral urgency that comes with the study of the contemporary global issues, including questions of conflicts, ethics of war, poverty, and humanitarian interventions connected to the UAE foreign policy. As such, a researcher should have an understanding of the dominant critical theoretical approaches to international ethics and should be able to use these methods to make sense of the way ethical arguments work in international relations.