I was surprised to find this television series, “Justice,” from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Netflix. It certainly shatters Western stereotypes of the subservient role of women in the Middle East. Story line: An Emirati female named Farah, educated in a U.S. law school, returns to her hometown of Abu Dhabi to practice law. Pressured to join the law firm of her father, she decides to open her own practice.
How realistic is this? It’s true that the best students tend to study abroad, usually in the U.S. or the U.K. Wealthy Emiratis tend to be very Westernized, spending summers in Europe or the U.K., where the women may not wear head coverings.
There have been some high-profile Emirati females serving as:
and other positions.
Overall, however, women tend to be left out of university leadership in the Arab world. My impression was that the country’s leadership, educated mostly in the West (the UK and the US), want to encourage the rise of women in the workforce. But the country’s conservative clerics and the less educated populace in rural areas are resistant, feel threatened.