Oman is a monarchy that has been independent since the expulsion of the Portuguese in 1650. Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who overthrew his father in a coup, has ruled the country by royal decree since 1970. Islam is Oman's dominant religion. Nearly 75 percent of Omanis are Ibadi Muslims; however, there are a number of minorities of Sunni and Shi'a Muslims, as well as small Christian and Hindu communities. Women in Oman have made steady progress over the past decade; women's rate of participation in the labor force is on the rise, and an estimated one-third of all civil servants are women.

The principles that form the basis for legislation in the Sultanate are derived from the Islamic sharia, which honors women and guarantees ...

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