IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Construction of Gender in Saudi Arabia

Listed author(s):
  • Hanan Muhaya Alenazy

    ()

    (University of Leicester)

Registered author(s):

    Gender equality is a controversial issue and has been a constant subject of debate across the world in varied domains and disciplines, particularly in the field of Higher Education (HE). Several scholars distinguish between the terms gender and sex. They believe that gender is a social construct and learnt behaviour, while sex is perceived as a biological category (McHugh 2007). Such differences in gender can be viewed as a cultural phenomenon, generating from the dominant concepts of a specific culture or era (Weiner 2010).It is argued that Muslim women are enslaved through oppression and inequality (Aquil 2012). Such inequality can be recognised in varied forms, for instance, their underrepresentation in several areas of achievement and progress particularly in acceding to senior management positions in academia. It seems that there is no exception for women in Saudi Arabia either, who might encounter such issues. Certain factors can be attributed to why women, particularly in Saudi Arabia, are not accorded career progression like their male counterparts, the primary one being the fact that 60% of Saudi women are homemakers (Alharbi 2014). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate the intersection and influence of wider social discourses, religion, culture, and traditions on the role of Saudi women at work and exploring the nature and root causes of discrimination. My research methodology utilised a qualitative approach in the form of multiple case studies. This research was performed from a feminist standpoint. Feminist research brings gender to the foreground and endeavours to understand social phenomena from the perspective of women (Cohen et al. 2013). Similarly, as stated by Lather (1998) a leading scholar in feminist research, the purpose of such ideological study is to ?correct both the invisibility and distortion of female experience in ways relevant to ending women?s unequal social position?. The research sample comprised 25 participants, all female academics from five state universities, selected intentionally for this research, who had either been promoted to leadership positions or not. Additionally, there were five male participants who were considered key informants, closely connected with the formulation and implementation of policies in HE institutions in Saudi Arabia. This paper addresses the following question: To what extent are the obstacles that Saudi female academics face within the university, a reflection of the influence of wider social discourses, religion, cultures, and traditions on the role of Saudi working women?

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://iises.net/proceedings/31st-international-academic-conference-london/table-of-content/detail?cid=46&iid=034&rid=7665
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences in its series Proceedings of International Academic Conferences with number 4607665.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 1 page
    Date of creation: Jul 2017
    Publication status: Published in Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 31st International Academic Conference, London, Jul 2017, pages 157-157
    Handle: RePEc:sek:iacpro:4607665
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://iises.net/

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sek:iacpro:4607665. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klara Cermakova)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.