chapter  9
14 Pages

Saudi women: Modernity and change


Saudi women were particularly affected by the shift in the country’s economic fortunes. In just three decades, female literacy rates rose sharply, and today female students outnumber male students. This jump in the number of educated women generated a demand for work outside the home, though the workplace was not developed enough to receive women. Segregation, a practice less strictly followed before modernization,1 was gradually institutionalized until it became a new reality. Thus the main challenges occupying conservatives in Saudi Arabia have been how to maintain and regulate the veil and how to prevent women from working alongside men.