The Role Of Saudi Women In Leadership Essay Example
The Role Of Saudi Women In Leadership Essay Example

The Role Of Saudi Women In Leadership Essay Example

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  • Pages: 19 (5127 words)
  • Published: August 24, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Saudi Arabia is a desert state that runs over 8,000 square stat mis. There are large metropoliss, like Riyadh, Makah, Medina, Dhahran and Jeddah ; occupants in these countries enjoy the comfortss of well-planned modern metropolitan metropoliss. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, headed by the Al Saud royal household, with a council of curates. Saudi Arabia 's strong root in spiritual and tribal history has made it what it has become today. By the 1970 's Saudi Arabia had become dominant in the kingdom of international finance and a important political power in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia occupies the larger portion of the Arabian Peninsula and is the universe 's prima oil manufacturer and exporter. The land is the centre of the major topographic points of importance for Muslims from all over the universe.

>Plight of Saudi adult females

There are really few ( if any ) good known adult females leaders in Saudi Arabia ; this is as a consequence of the huge gender favoritism against the miss kid. There are Torahs that are restrictive to adult females and impede them from acquiring leading functions. This survey aims to research the discriminatory judicial and authorities systems in the state towards adult females. It will besides depict the leading functions of adult females in the Saudi society. The assorted facets of leading and gender favoritism against Saudi adult females will be discussed. Womans are more than the work forces in the population of Saudi Arabia ; it 's hence really ironical that they had non been allowed to work. It is in the last 10 old ages that adult females have been accepted as portion of

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the working community. This demonstrates the deficiency of working sectors unfastened to Saudi adult females. In fact conveyance sector discriminates adult females, in that a adult female would non go unaccompanied by a male comrade. The society still looks down upon employed adult females. A

Jobs available for Saudi adult females are really limited and are largely in instruction, wellness, and disposal. Womans can work and achieve occupations in any scene every bit long as there is no exposure to work forces. Because of this cultural and spiritual regulation, adult females need to hold their ain independent societal and educational organisations. Society allows adult females to make full top administrative places in adult females 's colleges in order to pull off the college efficaciously. Despite these accomplishments instruction for Saudi adult females is still regarded secondary to taking attention of the family and household.

For a long clip, adult females 's instruction was capable to dialogue with spiritual and societal traditions. Womans in Saudi Arabia were officially allowed to acquire formal instruction about forty old ages ago while the work forces started manner before the adult females. Consequently, there are really few occupations available for well-qualified adult females in Saudi Arabia. The adult females in Saudi Arabia are now more than of all time in chase in order to authorise themselves through instruction in preparedness of leading places that may come their manner


Position of adult females in the society

There are many different facets that one brushs while seeking to understand and research the Saudi Arabian civilization. The function and position of the adult females is cardinal in understanding the place of a adult female in this civilization.

In Saudi Arabia, adult females do non hold much to make outside their places. Girls, from an early age, obtain a domestic function that befits them. For a immature miss in Saudi Arabia, going a female parent is the norm and is the biggest end in life. She is raised to believe that she should take to be a `` good female parent '' and that it is her duty to give her clip to her hubby and kids. However, this is bit by bit altering ; the authorities now supports instruction of the miss kid.

Women 's rights groups in Saudi Arabia are non functional for case, adult females are still non allowed to drive or sit on motor vehicles with aliens, and one should either be accompanied by a close relation, an employee or the employer ( Helen, 2007 ) . This jurisprudence denies adult females a critical right ; freedom of independent motion ( Colin, 2005 ) .

A Saudi adult female can non be admitted into any infirmary without the consent of a male household member. Despite all these, adult females are happening other agencies of steering through these restrictive regulations in order to prosecute concern this is through the intensive usage of the cyberspace ( Anders, 1998 ) .

Legal, societal and spiritual controls combine to restrict a adult female 's freedom of motion in the state. From the authorities position, this is aimed at protecting the adult females, but most adult females perceive the jurisprudence as a manner of speed uping and authorising the work forces and their laterality in the society, ( Helen, 2007 ) .

Womans of the Middle East have

long been viewed as an laden group. From the desert littorals of Saudi Arabia to the cragged lands of Afghanistan, Arab adult females have faced many adversities in their society. While the function of a adult female is meant to be nurturing and domestic, many adult females have moved on to a more modern position, and have taken on the function as pedagogues and labourers. Arab adult females threaten the traditional household construction by making so ; nevertheless, for many it is a forfeit they are willing to do, as they have seen that the universe has more to offer than merely household jobs and childbirth.

Rights of adult females in the yesteryear, today and the hereafter

The Saudi system is set up in a signifier known as the Sunni-Islam province version, which is a conservative signifier of authorities ; this version is characterized by integrating the reading of the Muslim religion and utilizing it to explicate jurisprudence. The Islamic jurisprudence is interpreted in such a manner that it enhances gender inequality ; the adult females are subjected to strict and tight legal ordinances on their personal behaviour while the work forces are exempted from the regulations ( Colin, 2005 ) . There is no equality for adult females despite Article 8 of the Saudi jurisprudence which states that, `` Government in the land of Saudi Arabia is based on the premiss of justness, audience, and equality in conformity with the shari'ah jurisprudence '' ( Sameena, 2005 ) . However, the single readings favor work forces instead than adult females ensuing in a hierarchy system that besides privileges luminaries and good connexions over ordinary citizens and foreigners.

This system in itself creates a colored and egoistic signifier of society associated with misunderstanding of spiritual Bible. Foreigners are treated otherwise depending on the state of beginning and the race, excessively ( Kathleen, 1991 ) .

Womans can non move as attorneies, and for adult females to entree justness she hires a male attorney wand she is forced to offer up most of her confidential information sing fiscal and household affairs to the attorney and the Judgess. A individual adult male 's testimony in the tribunal is the same as for two adult females ( Sameena, 2005 ) . In most instances, the adult females rely on their hubbies and this denies the adult females personal justness and the ability to entree power and leading places since one can non see power without justness.

There are huge instances of gender favoritism in the employment sector in Saudi Arabia, this is attributed to the fact that most of the people are spiritual and have interpreted Islamic instructions in a peculiar manner ( Anders, 1998 ) . For adult females, entree to employment activities is really limited, with minimum enjoyment of the full benefits of citizenship or maturity.

Gender favoritism against adult females has exacerbated reformists to proactively recommend for democracy and authorization of adult females in the state. The international community is besides working in close coaction with the reformists to assist in the disposal of justness and the equality of gender in Saudi Arabia ( Sameena, 2005 ) . Consequently, Saudi Arabia has made some advancement in adult females 's instruction and employment.

Saudi adult females and the instruction sector

Education is a cardinal facet of household and community

life. There is a close nexus between place and school and they further correlative with the manner the construction and community is shaped. The instruction of Arab adult females started long ago, dating back about 1500 old ages, when the married woman of Prophet Muhammad, Khadija, owned her ain train and was her ain employer ; a successful one at that. However, after the Prophet 's decease, the position of adult females easy began to worsen, and by the early 1900 's, Arab adult females 's position had been dwindled down to that of subjugation and non-education. Because of this, several feminist adult females motions originate in the 1930 's and 1940 's, the most celebrated one led by Huda Sha'rawi in Egypt ( Ahmed, 1992 ) . Even though these feminist motions helped promote Arab adult females to acquire back on the rise in society, merely a smattering were able to accomplish that, as many states such as Saudi Arabia were still non into authorising adult females.

Women 's instruction in Saudi Arabia started informally with the Kuttab schools that taught the basicss of Islam and the rudimentss of authorship, reading, and arithmetic. By 1945, King Abdul Aziz, the state 's laminitis, had initiated an extended plan to set up schools in the Kingdom. Six old ages subsequently, in 1951, the state had 226 schools with 29,887 pupils ( Collins, 2005 ) . In 1954, the Ministry of Education was established headed by so Prince Fahd as the first Minister of Education. The first of all time university in Saudi Arabia was opened in Riyadh in early 1957.

In 1943, the first private miss 's school

was established in Makkah by a group of people in the private sector who wanted to learn their girls basic reading, composing and mathematics ( Al Salloom, 1989 ) . When public simple instruction for misss began in 1960, there were merely 15 school edifices, with a sum of 127 schoolrooms and 518 female pupils. Public instruction at the intermediate and secondary degrees for misss followed in 1963 with four school edifices for the intermediate degree, and one for the secondary degree ( Al Salloom, 1989 ) . As Saudi households started to recognize that educating their girls posed no menace to household life and in the traditional function of adult females in society, the attitude towards females ' instruction changed.

Female pupils enrolled at all educational degrees and more schools were opened. From 1970 to 1990 the figure of female pupils enrolled in higher instruction expanded from 400 pupils to 48,000 ( Kathleen, 1991 ) . With the rapid enlargement of educational installations and registration, a high figure of instructors and school principals were female. Today, Saudi Arabia 's countrywide educational system comprises many universities and colleges, including 1000s of primary and secondary schools. Open to every citizen, the system provides pupils with free instruction, books and wellness services.

To complement their surveies in universities in the Kingdom, Saudi pupils have the chance to prosecute alumnus and post-graduate grades in specialised Fieldss abroad. Supported by the authorities scholarships, 1000s of Saudi pupils are enrolled in universities outside the Kingdom, chiefly in the United States.

The beginning of adult females 's higher instruction was similar in Saudi Arabia and the United States, in that both states, at one

point, denied adult females entree to higher instruction and adult females were considered as comparative fledglings to equity of chance in instruction. This brings visible radiation to turn toing another issue affecting higher instruction and the Saudi adult female: adult females do n't hold the right to do determinations and put policies refering their higher instruction. To some extent, they may pull off and form their daily sections, operations and resources but all major determinations impacting them-such as hiring, planning and evaluating are still made by work forces. What makes this job more complicated is the deficiency of communicating, face to confront between work forces who are high in administered hierarchy and adult females who occupy lower administrative degrees.

For the alumnus female pupils, there are minimum opportunities for them to progress in the occupation markets and this hinders the adult females from lifting up into a leading place in the instruction sector. There are a few adult females who have been lucky to acquire leading places in the instruction.These adult females play an of import function, they champion for more adult females to be incorporated into leading places, nevertheless, their sentiments are ever ignored ( Helen, 2007 ) .The nature of female leading functions in Saudi Arabia can non be compared to other states, these adult females are segregated and marginalized and therefore they are denied educational leading functions ( Anders, 1998 ) .

Cultural factors act uponing Saudi adult females

The defining of societies in general is dependent on cultural and traditional factors, every bit good as economic and political systems. In Saudi Arabia, society civilization and traditions play a major function. Culture preponderantly influences adult

females 's ' functions in Muslim society, because of the accent placed on adult females 's position and acceptable behaviour as outlined in the Quran. Ahmed ( 1992 ) believes that no affair what form the political system takes, no affair what degree of instruction adult females attain, no affair what traditional values govern employment, Saudi adult females would non play major leading functions in modern twenty-four hours economic sciences because cultural factors have impeded their development. There are a figure of factors that have impacted the Saudi adult females 's position and their place in society. The economic system, the importance of the household unit, the educational chances available, the grade of encouragement adult females encounter in their chase of instruction and work, and the grade of urbanisation attained are all of import factors that shape a society and mold many of its beliefs and values ( Pinter, 1984 ) .

Saudi Arabia 's civilization and traditions are different from the United States and are used as a footing of comparing for two grounds: foremost, Saudi Arabia and the United States are immature affluent states that continue to come on ( Al-Dawood, 1995 ) ; and 2nd, to see if Saudi Arabian secondary school instructors ' degrees of occupation satisfaction are different from that of secondary school instructors in the United States.

Limited information on Saudi female instructors ' occupation satisfaction and chief leading behaviour in Saudi Arabia is available, therefore it is necessary to besides look at research conducted about male instructors. Beck & A ; Keddie ( 1978 ) indicated that work forces have reported a higher grade of occupation satisfaction than adult females,

but more late differences have diminished, due in portion to more equal chances for the employment and promotion of adult females.

A Study carried out in Qatar ( a state that borders Saudi Arabia ) reveals that there is no important difference in the degrees of occupation satisfaction between work forces and adult females ( Moshaikeh, 1981 ) . Al-Salom ( 1996 ) studies that a similar survey was carried out in the United States and besides found no important difference in the degree of occupation satisfaction between male and female instructors.

The Quran advocators for stable household life, at no point does it province that adult females are non equal to work forces and that they should non blend freely in their topographic points of work ( Al-Sallom, 1989 ) .This is non normally the instance and people still misinterpret faith and utilize the Quran as a footing for insulating adult females.

The differences between adult females in the Middle East and the 1s in the western states like United States may are due to cultural factors. Despite turning credence of adult females 's instruction in Saudi Arabia, instruction for adult females still faces conservative attitudes from many Saudi citizens. Such conservative thought focal points on adult females constructing the traditional functions of married womans and female parents and may do fright that instruction may weaken these functions. These conservative attitudes towards adult females 's instruction are non related to the influences of Islam, but may be portion of the traditions of the Saudi Society ( Christopher, 1993 ) . In add-on, adult females receive fewer formal classs in school disposal and in-service preparation than work forces

( Abdel, 1997 ) .

Womans decision makers receive unequal preparation ; as a consequence, female school principals are less qualified in leading behaviours and supervising than their male opposite numbers are. Teachers should hold a opportunity to utilize what they have learned in instruction classs. They besides should be involved in the planning and decision-making procedure sing course of study, clip usage, schoolroom instructions, method of instructions, resource allotment, and processs for pupils ' rating. Including them as active participants would be an first-class first measure in heightening their occupation satisfaction.

Power of adult females in the yesteryear, today and the hereafter

Economic authorization of adult females

One of the major factors that have shaped the Saudi Society is the economic state of affairs. However, Kathleen, ( 1991 ) disagrees with the impression that a modern capitalist economic system and its extension to about all countries have resulted in many positive alterations for adult females in Saudi Arabia. She argues that pre-capitalist urban businesss were already unfastened to Saudi adult females of all categories, from obstetrics and amusement to holders of of import existent estate. Economic alterations of the modern period did non better or raise the degrees of adult females 's engagement in public life. In the Saudi civilization, serious life begins with matrimony, which can be for many, an flight from household force per unit areas and economic trouble. Because males are seen as the defenders and protagonists of adult females and are, hence, considered indispensable, households pull all their resources together ( material and emotional ) to guarantee that their immature girls marry suitably.

Womans of Saudi nationality are non allowed to entree benefits from the

authorities. In the instance where a Saudi adult female marries a non-Saudi, she so can non go through the nationality to her kids. Consequently, in 2002, adult females had no right to obtain the national individuality card without the order from the mahram, but they appeared as subjects from the province records that included her as a member of a peculiar household merely ( Kathleen, 1991 ) . When this was the norm, widowed and individual adult females had a difficult clip deriving leading of their households and besides in obtaining other benefits of their ain and from the province subsidies ( Cordesman, 2003 ) .

Saudi adult females do non hold the right to the mark contracts or to command fiscal assets and in this case, adult females are made to `` cream the boots '' of the males. As a consequence, adult females are denied the economic leading and chiefly depend on their hubbies for economical support. The adult females can non be integrated in the development processes and this greatly impacts them due to their reduced influence in policy devising and alterations in statute law ( Colin, 2005 ) .

In a manner, the Saudi jurisprudence ensures gender equity to work forces and adult females related to each other. See for illustration, the instance where the girls retain half as much heritage as the boies and when such adult females get married so they under the attention of their hubbies ( Colin, 2005 ) .Women retain belongings after matrimony and in this instance, the hubbies have the right to protect the adult female and therefore the adult females have no duty to pass their

acquired wealth on the work forces 's behalf. The married work forces have the full duty for their household demands. And in instance a adult female conducts herself in an immoral mode, the adult male of closest relation is punished on her behalf ( Helen, 2007 ) .

The function of adult females in Saudi Arabia is going more important in both political and economic footings as more and more adult females hold places of leading and civic prominence. The educational degrees of the adult females who have made important parts on leading clasp places as laminitiss of organisations and scope in their instruction: from keeping unmarried mans, Masterss, and doctor's degree grades. Some of these adult females hold voluntary places and others hold paid places that entail calling committednesss.

The Saudi Arabia authorities has given higher instruction, there are new educational policies put in topographic point. The authorities established the Ministry of Higher Education in 1975 whose long term vision is to supply extremely trained manpower necessary to run the state 's progressively sophisticated economic system. The primary aim of this ministry is to set up new establishments of higher acquisition throughout the state.

The Kingdom has given precedence to measure and quality enlargement of instruction in the last five to seven-years among other development programs. Despite the low per centum of Saudi adult females working in the labour force in the Kingdom compared to advanced states, it is the inaccessibility of working sectors open for Saudi adult females - normally limited to instruction and medical specialty - which has caused some impregnation in these sectors. The Saudi authorities is be aftering to set about a survey

of the function of adult females in the state 's economic system ( Al-Mohamed, ( 2007 ) . There are policies set by the authorities in order to back up adult females who want to work. The chief purpose of these policies is to take down t unemployment rate among adult females in Saudi Arabian adult females. In line with this aim, the authorities and private organisations provide reding services to adult females in nerve-racking environments of employment. The Saudi authorities program is beyond employment and aims to authorise adult females with entrepreneurial and puting. Saudi Arabia might hold to revise some policies that a restrict adult females from take parting in the economic system of the state.

Womans and political leading

The engagement of adult females in the public sphere, including the political sphere, is really limited in Saudi Arabia. Unlike other adult females in the western universe, Saudi adult females have no societal or political rights. They still have to obtain consent of male opposite numbers in order to carry through basic things, like obtaining a passport and travel.

The hierarchal system of the Saudi authorities does non let for democratic vote. Saudi Arabian political leaders are, hence, concealing behind false spiritual stalking-horse by keep backing many rights from adult females. It is a misdemeanor of their spiritual beliefs and patterns. Other Muslim states, such as Egypt, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, allow adult females to vote and still keep their traditional and spiritual patterns.

The state does non incorporate any political parties, therefore the absence of elections. Womans are going more active in reform but their attempts are marginalized. The extent of reform is determined by the

governing household ( Cordesman, 2003 ) .

Al-Mohamed ( 2007 ) attributes the deficiency of a political function for Saudi adult females to educational determinations ; he goes on and gives an illustration where adult females do non major in Political Science in their higher acquisition. For illustration, Princess Dr. al-Jawaharlal bint Fahd al-Saud was undersecretary of instruction for adult females 's colleges for 10 old ages before going president of Riyadh University for Women in April 2007, yet she had no power to do determinations even though she had the power ( Al-Mohamed, 2007 ) .

The state lacks the basic freedoms for even the civil society to take portion in the leading. It is really difficult to get down new organisations and even more so the adult females groups, due to their co-optation by the authorities. I would urge the being of political parties in the state with free elections since this would further democratic growing in the state ( Anders, 1998 ) . The media should be free to show their thoughts and adult females rights bureaus should be supported to assist in the equality of gender, promote the growing of the economic system and the active engagement of adult females in the exercise of political power ( Kathleen, 1991 ) .

Role of faith in authorising adult females

To better understand a Saudi adult female 's place, one must larn a great trade about the civilization and faith. One should besides understand Islam, its history and civilization. In a Muslim community, the people are to follow God 's bids and live a moral life. Saudi adult females who are working and serve society should be

careful to follow an Islamic manner of life.

In the modern society, have oning a hijab, which may cover a adult female 's caput or her whole organic structure, remains portion of Muslim civilization in Saudi Arabia and besides worldwide. Most Moslem adult females dress modestly and in Muslim states even the most successful concern adult females will cover themselves with the hijab. Many of the adult females welcome this pattern as they feel it prevents them from being bothered by colleagues or aliens. Some modern Muslims in non-Muslims civilizations, nevertheless, choose non to cover to pull less attending instead than cover with disheartenment about it. Whichever the instance, the erosion of a hijab should be intended to delight God and should non be done in a mandatary or pressurized mode ( Cordesman, 2003 ) .

Before Islam, adult females in the Arab universe had no rights to have any belongings, inherit, divorce, or even take their matrimony spouse ; the male parent was normally the one to make up one's mind or a male relation. With the coming of Islam, adult females were given the aforesaid rights and their position changed to that of a dignified human being, meriting of regard and award. The Islamic position about adult females is that work forces and adult females are equal in their beginning and their rights. Harmonizing to the history of Islam, adult females have political rights, can take part in public personal businesss, run a concern, take their hubbies and even inherit decently. In respect of adult females 's instruction, a adult female in Islam is non required to lend financially to the household, which may explicate

why some Saudis see instruction to be worthwhile and necessary for males and less for adult females. The Quran, which is the beginning of Islamic law, contains no poetry that deprives adult female the right to be educated In fact, the word Quran is derived from the word 'reading ' and the first poetry of the Quran calls on the devoted to read and compose. There are no barriers to adult females geting cognition in the Islamic religion every bit long as there is no blending between the two genders.

Most people that profess the Muslim religion do non believe that that work forces and adult females are equal in affairs of faith ( Kathleen, 1991 ) . The function of adult females in the household and upbringing of kids play a major portion accordingly, the adult females are allowed to idolize at place as the work forces and the male childs worship at the mosque. Despite the active function of adult females in faith, Saudi adult females are denied entree to any direction functions and leading places in the state 's spiritual establishments ( Kathleen, 1991 ) .

There are still some conservative people who do non desire to encompass The New World Order, where adult females work and are independent, faith is still the alibi of this people. There is as an ideological struggle between civilization and faith, Islam allows adult females the right to instruction and work. As a consequence Arab adult females continue to seek instruction and work, society 's outlooks hover over them, giving them more strength to those who oppose authorising adult females.


The intent of this survey was to analyze the

household and social factors that affect Saudi adult females in their chase of leading places in a Muslim society, such as that found in Saudi Arabia. Another country of involvement was the impact of Islam on the Saudi adult females and their chase of leading functions in public life. It is true that the jurisprudence and the male dominated society and does non supply a good environment for leading places of adult females. The adult females now more than of all time are willing to take the hazard and authorise themselves, earlier than later adult females from these portion of the universe will catch up with other states that have overcome gender favoritism.

Surveies show that Saudi adult females are acquiring more attending due to the current involvement in multiculturalism and planetary consciousness. There are many adult females in Saudi Arabia who have attained leading functions on a smaller graduated table, such as in remote small towns and rural countries. The figure of Saudi adult females who have leading places may non be big in comparing to the figure of adult females with leading places in Western states or even in neighbouring states but it is a great measure sing the place of Arab adult females and their function and intervention under Muslim civilization. Womans who have leading functions in Arab societies are an of import resource for information that can assist bridge the spread between preconceived impressions about the Arab universe and the world of the conditions encountered by adult females in that portion of the universe. For case, in America there are great adult females who have revolutionized leading like Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice

while in Germany Angela Merkel is the Chancellor. In the Middle East the most common figure was Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan who was a possible political leader but was assassinated. These adult females in leading ar function theoretical accounts to other adult females all over the universe and shortly the Arab universe is traveling to encompass adult females leading.

However, the degree of leading and the engagement of adult females in assorted places in Saudi are faced with chiefly two interconnected issues. First, the effects of the constitutional rights on adult females and secondly, is the position of adult females and their place in mention to Islamic Torahs.

Reform is desperately needed in both educational and employment sectors to supply greater equality for adult females. Previous tendencies of females in educational development indicate an of all time spread outing entree of instruction by adult females to where they may outnumber work forces. However, gender segregation and lower statuss in course of study distinction is still experienced. There should be more awareness runs for adult females to be informed on the importance of prosecuting instruction to a higher degree and variegation of classs to be studied. The variegation of the state 's economic system and the enlargement of the services in the assorted sectors may ensue in the liberalisation of the range of business and enroll adult females in leading functions. This alteration would be due to the deficit of labour and the increased engagement of adult females in the instruction installations and course of studies. This would assist travel adult females up in public visibleness and let them to take part in the determination devising of the


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