By: Garanique Williams, `13
As westerners, many have become used to a relatively egalitarian society where institutionalized gender segregation is not a serious issue. Equally talented males and females in the workforce surround many of us. Now, attempt to put yourself in a woman’s position in a very different world. Imagine a world where you continually had to approach unknown men to buy your undergarments. In Saudi Arabia, men were heavily employed in retail and not until a recent decree, approved by King Abdullah have women been allowed to work in retail. This is just one small accomplishment but a major milestone in the employment battle for women in Saudi Arabia. Along with sales associate positions, women are struggling to find employment in other sectors. However, Saudi women are pushing to enter the workforce, and with the help of the King, slowly making progress in Saudi society.
Saudi Arabian women are highly underrepresented in the work force. This topic is important to me because I thought about the privileges I have by simply being a citizen of the United States. I was able to work at 15 years old. I am not discriminated against because of my gender. The grounds are more leveled as a citizen of the US. However, adult females living in Saudi Arabia cannot find jobs. They are educated and represent more than half of the university students in the kingdom. However, they are ignored when they try and enter the workforce. My goal is to expose the importance of this issue for Saudi Arabian women and Saudi Arabia as a whole and suggest possible solutions.