Gender Gap in Saudi Arabia’s Health and Education Sectors Narrows, According to Recent Survey

This week, Saudi Arabia announced the results of The Participation of Saudi Women in Development study, one in particular that highlighted the positive status of women in the Kingdom today. According to Arab News, the study, which is the first-ever nationwide study of female participation in Saudi Arabia’s economy and society, showed that there have been major advances in women’s roles in health and education over the last few years.

As pointed out by the news site, the survey’s findings “provide an overall score of .62 for women’s participation in development and show narrow gender gaps in health (.98) and education (.92), indicating the systems and programs in these areas allow equal opportunities for women to participate in the Kingdom’s development.”

The study was based on data collected from 15,000 households across Saudi Arabia and is the result of a partnership between the National Observatory for Women at King Saud University, the Kingdom’s General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), the charity Alwaleed Philanthropies, and UN Women.

Carried out by an all-female team, the study specifically looked at the participation and development of Saudi women in 56 areas within five major sectors (economic, health, educational, legislation, and social). As a result, it also pinpointed a number of key barriers women face today in the Kingdom and it highlighted key areas of improvement for Saudi Arabia regarding its women, as it showed that more solid measures are still needed to improve their participation in the economy and legislation.

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