The Arab world is not the easiest region for women to ... exist. Women have yet to fight for many of their most basic rights like giving their nationality to their children.
As if things were not stressful enough, every Arab woman deals with a set of expectations everywhere she turns on a daily basis for just belonging to the less privileged gender.
One of the biggest societal pressures an Arab woman faces is marriage. No matter how successful and self-accomplished a woman is, the sad reality is society won't see beyond her marital status.
As she approaches a certain age, her family starts sinking in a state of subtle panic and anxiety, fearing their daughter would become a "spinster."
2. Premarital abstinence
While losing one's virginity is a matter of choice each individual takes when they believe they are ready, Arab women are expected to wait until marriage. Some even go as far as performing virginity tests. Society believes premarital sex makes men out of boys, but when it comes to women, the hypocrisy is unparalleled.
Many factors such as religion, society, and family honor consider a woman's virginity as her most valuable possession - to be protected at all costs. The loss of it before marriage would not only bring shame on her, but it would bring shame on the entire family.
In the Arab world, a woman's reputation is everything. Mothers scorn their daughters while yelling out expressions like "what would the neighbors think when they see you coming home late?" and "what would people say?"
Sentences like that are valid arguments in the eyes of the parents, who use them not necessarily out of conviction in them but out of fear of society's disapproval and bigotry.
4. Having children
Many people across the Arab world still believe a woman's main mission in life is to reproduce. A woman deciding she does not want to bring another human being into the world is just out of the equation for them.
5. Being judged harsher than men for the same actions
From drinking alcohol and having a curfew all the way to infidelity and divorce laws, women are judged much harshly than men because they are perceived inferior to their counterparts.
6. Being skinny
Body shaming is an international social problem that social media is exacerbating. Arab women are just as subjected to body shaming as most women around the world.
Thousands of Instagram models spam our timelines everyday, looking incredibly thin with a photoshopped glow while sharing their "secret weight loss tips." The fashion industry along with social visual media have set the conventional beauty standards for women as being thin. Being healthy seems to have little to no importance anymore.
7. Wearing "decent" clothes
The Arab world's logic goes as follows: A woman should cover up as much as possible to avoid rape and catcalling. Why ask for it?
8. Assuming women are constantly trying to impress men
Wearing lipstick? Posting a pretty picture online? Wearing a nice dress? It's definitely because you are trying to impress a guy. What other possible explanation could there be?
The audacity some people have.