Women Empowerment in Saudi Arabia
Women’s education in Saudi Arabia is majorly organized based on the principles of Islam, which is the fundamental and official religion of the country. Empowering to work in the various field in order improve the economy of the country has been a subject of debate for many years (Smith & Abouammoh, 2013). The history of education of women is dated back to 1956 when the first girls’ school was introduced. The girls’ school referred to as Dar al-Hanan and few girls had the opportunity to be enrolled in school.
In 1960, the first state-run school for girls was introduced. Until around 2002, the women education was controlled by Department of Religion whereas for men it was controlled by the ministry of education (Bowen, 2014). The reason why girls’ school was controlled by the department of religion was to ensure that women were taught in line with the principles of Islam. It was also choreographed to make women loyal to the religion and also to men.
The topic of empowering women to work in the various fields in order to improve Saudi Arabia economy has been a subject of debate for many years. According to a study conducted by Welsh et al (2014) to examine the benefits of educating women in Saudi Arabia, it reveals that educating the women has led to 55 percent of women owning businesses in the country. With the increase in a number of women owning their own businesses, the economy has grown by more than 20 percent in the last one decade. A study conducted by Smith & Abouammoh (2013) also shows that by 2019, the Saudi Arabia economy will have doubled due to women participation in business.
In 1949, there were no women enrolled in any girls’ school. The latest education annual reports indicate that number of women has risen from 13 in 1970 to 21, 721 in 1999 (Smith & Abouammoh, 2013). The increase girl child enrolling to school can be attributed to sensitization programs to encourage parents in the society to allow women enroll to school. In 1953, the number of women employed was less than 50, but recently in 2017, there are more than 15000 women employed by the government. Women in the past were only allowed to participate in domestic activities. In 1970, women in sport and Olympic were less than 20, but in 2014, the number has increased to more than 1596. In stock exchange market, the percentage of women participating in the trade has increased from 4 percent in 1970 to 12 percent in 2014 this according to Bloomberg report.
In 1949, there were no women enrolled in any girls’ school
In 1999, number of women was 21, 721
In 1953, the number of women employed was less than 50
In 2017, there are more than 15000 women employed by the government
Sports and Olympic
In 1970, women in sport and Olympic were less than 20
In 2014, the number has increased to more than 1596
Stock Exchange Market
In 1970, women compost less than 4 percent of total employees in stock exchange market.
In 2014, women compost more than 12 percent of total employees in stock exchange market. Ms. Sarah Alsohaimi elected Chairman of the board of the Saudi Stock market.
There is a close link between empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia and economic prosperity of the country in the recent past. A research conducted by Welsh et al (2014) indicates that majority of the business owned by women are very successful. Currently, 42 percent of businesses in Saudi Arabia are owned by women. Due to the empowerment of women in the country to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic courses, the number of women owning their business own business has increased significantly.
With the continuous empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia, the general economy of the country is expected to double the current economy by 2022. The number of women starting and running their own businesses is actually on the rise (Welsh et al, 2014). This has been contributed by positive government incentives that are targeted at the women. Due to education, women have acquired relevant knowledge and skilled to manage their businesses.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
Bowen, W. H. (2014). The History of Saudi Arabia. ABC-CLIO.
Smith, L., & Abouammoh, A. (2013). Higher education in Saudi Arabia: Reforms, challenges, and priorities. In Higher Education in Saudi Arabia (pp. 1-12). Springer Netherlands.
Welsh, D. H., Memili, E., Kaciak, E., & Al Sadoon, A. (2014). Saudi women entrepreneurs: a growing economic segment. Journal of Business Research, 67(5), 758-762.