March 9, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8611

Saudi Columnist Warns Against Appointing A Woman As Head Of An Arab Country

March 9, 2020
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8611

In a recent column in the Saudi Al-Watan daily titled "The Arab Woman Is Not Qualified To Head a Country," journalist Mansour warned against the possibility of a woman president for one of the Arab countries. Arguing that women's physiological changes, including menstruation, estrogen deficiency, or problems during pregnancy are likely to adversely affect her judgment and cause her to make irrational decisions, he said that this could lead to damage to the country's foreign relations and perhaps even the bombing of a neighboring country. If women in Arab countries gain their rights and take positions in government, he continued, the men are apt to find themselves begging for their own rights.

Prior to the column's publication, Al-Daban promoted it on Twitter with a short one-question survey reflectint his column's headline: "My column for tomorrow: Is an Arab Woman Qualified to Head a Country?! Of the respondents, 57.3% said 'No,' 29.4% said 'Yes,' and the remainder said they don't know."[1]

Al-Daban's tweeted survey (Source:, February 27, 2020)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Daban's column:

"I have no desire to wallow in the depths of history, when understanding the present and looking to the future are more important. Within the next five years, we may have a female Arab president! This becomes [even] more possible if a woman from the Democratic Party heads the U.S. government, which is close [to happening].

"The Arab woman, in her cultural way of life, is quick to anger, [lacking in] self-confidence, very cautious, fights with her colleagues, supports the man and prefers to take an auxiliary role, specifically to a man. For these reasons, [women] whisper amongst themselves, even though they declare their demand for the actualization [of their rights], and fight the 'patriarchal society.'

"Moreover, the physiological changes that such a female president will undergo every month will impair the stability of the government and disrupt [foreign] relations. Pregnancy problems [from which she may suffer] are apt to cause her [i.e. the president] to bomb a neighboring country, and estrogen deficiency, and [incidents in which] she will stand in the middle of the room and forget what she is doing there, are likely to lead to changes in government portfolios...

"The Arab woman has suffered centuries of subjugation; for this reason she envies men's status. Thus, plans for actualizing [women's rights] will transform Arab countries into something similar to the Chinese Mosuo tribe, the Indonesian Minangkabau, and the Bribri in Costa Rica – which are ruled by women, and in which the men live lives of debasement while demanding their rights.

"You [can] express solidarity with women today, but be prepared search for someone who will be willing to express solidarity with you tomorrow."[2]


[1], February 27, 2020.

[2] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), February 27, 2020.

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