Is Saudi Arabia considered a developed nation
"It's not easy to change social values"
Ms. Al Mansour, in your films you deal with the role of women in Saudi Arabia. W.ow is it like living there today as a woman?
The situation has improved a lot in recent years. Today women are allowed to travel alone, drive a car, set up businesses, eat with men in restaurants. You have a lot more social freedom than just a few years ago. Even in the workplace, the sexes are no longer separated. Of course, Saudi Arabia is a conservative country, and many women are still reluctant to take advantage of these freedoms or even do not want to.
I think many Muslim women are afraid of losing their status as “good women” if they change their behavior and break with traditions. That's why they don't want to travel alone or work far from their families. When faced with a choice between a job and marriage, they still often choose marriage. That this is not always the right decision, and that you simply have to be yourself, you have to figure it out on your own - and that takes time.
There are also men in Saudi Arabia who feel attacked by the reforms, who are afraid of losing their status quo.
How do you meet them?
Well, come on, here in Hollywood, too, men say: You only got this job because female filmmakers are currently in demand. And a middle-aged white man comes on set and is always respected, whether he can do something or not. I always have to earn the respect on each set in the first few days. Here, too, it takes time for people's values to change. But I think we are currently on the right track. But to your question: I think that it is beneficial for everyone when both sexes work together. Otherwise it's boring. And young people want to meet, work in a diverse environment, with both genders.
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