This research paper analyzes perceptions about the causes of the high level of unemployed qualified Saudi Arabian women in rural places, including the role of the educational system and attitudes of Saudi society. Unemployed women in rural areas were interviewed using a phenomenological approach. The nine participants have diverse places of origin, current places of residence, majors of study, and life situations. The findings indicate that unemployed women perceive the higher rate of unemployed women in rural areas to be related to: (1) rapid population growth, (2) high demand for public sector jobs, (3), and the lack of transportation options and child care facilities. Overall, findings suggest that while attitudes towards women in the workforce are changing in Saudi society, updated policies and improved support systems could help close the gap in employment between men and women.
Shuruq Alsharif 1 and Jessica D. Ulrich-Schad
Gender, Unemployment, Education, Rural, Saudi Arabia.