What Are the Attitudes Towards Changing Gender Roles Within the Saudi Family?

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



What Are the Attitudes Towards Changing Gender Roles Within the Saudi Family?

Rasis Abdullah Alanazi, Ph.D., Munira Abdullah AlHugail and Taghreed Almishari



Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 was launched in 2016 with the intention to achieve a ‘vibrant society,’ ‘thriving economy,’ and an ‘ambitious nation’(KSA Vision 2030). Wider participation of women in development is required to realize these primary themes. A number of legislative reforms have supported the entry of more women into the workforce, such as lifting the male guardian permission for work and travel, supporting programs for child care, allowing females to drive cars and ensuring women’s involvement in leadership positions. As of the second quarter of 2022, women’s participation in the workforce reached 35.6% as compared to 19.4% in 2017 (General Authority for Statistics). Saudi women are now working in defense, mining, construction, manufacturing, and retail among other sectors. Because this social and economic transformation has the potential to influence the dynamics within the Saudi family, the study investigates the attitudes of Saudi men and women toward gender roles within the Saudi family. Based on the short version of the Attitudes toward Women Scale (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973) an online questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 431 Saudis in the fall of 2022. Statistical analyses were conducted to measure women’s attitudes compared to men’s overall scores. Results of the independent sample t-test indicated that women held more pro-feminist attitudes compared to men.

keywords: attitudes, culture. Empowerment. Gender roles. Stereotypes. Vision 2030. workforce