Working in the Middle East / Saudi Arabia

Gender Relations

Date Posted: February 17, 2016      

Traditionally women held pre-eminent roles in the home, building strong family units, but the development of Saudi Arabia has brought with it increasing opportunities for women in education, employment, and in political participation, as will be seen in the elections for Shura Council and municipal councils. These initiatives are considered to be major advancements for the rights of women in Saudi society.

Gender segregation in public is still strictly enforced, but within the workplace gender segregation is not a legal requirement. Social custom still dictates that unrelated men and women cannot touch, so while two men can greet each other by shaking hands, men should not attempt to shake hands with a Muslim woman.