Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Social Work

First Advisor

Jennifer Harrison

Second Advisor

Michelle Weemhoff


Gender inequity is a concern in countries around the globe. Middle Eastern nations are one region where inequality impacts women’s opportunities and outcomes. However, women in Asia, South America, Africa, and the United States also face discrimination and barriers to enjoying similar rights as men. Examining these gaps between the rights of women to men in different countries can help inform policy and practice changes in the future. In this analysis, salaries of women after the birth of a first child will be compared in Saudi Arabia and the United States. In Saudi Arabia, fewer women are in the executive or management positions related to beliefs that women are irrational and less capable than men. Despite women constituting half of Saudi Arabia's population, women are much less likely to remain in the workforce, thus limiting their impact on the nation's economy (ALkhteeb & Sultan, 2014). The conditions of most workplaces are unfavorable for women, again due to cultural or religious expectations that impact women’s participation in the workforce. For instance, since women are expected to cover their bodies, work in factories where temperatures are high and high dexterity with machinery is needed often means these jobs are not feasible for women.

The impact and discrimination faced by women in the workforce in Saudi Arabia is more severe for women with children. A common perception is that when women have children, their productivity is reduced. Often, a reduction in salary follows. Even during pregnancy, expectant mothers are sometimes denied enough time for prenatal leave or granted leave. Although there are labor laws in the US and Saudi Arabia that advocate for equal pay for the same type of job, they are often violated in terms of gender equity for salaries; particularly for women workers who are mothers (Kelly, 2014). To compound these discriminatory practices, there or often insufficient legal remedies or organizations to advocate for equality for women.

Recommended Citation:

ALkhteeb, T. T., & Sultan, Z. A. (2014). Role of women in economic development in Saudi Arabia: a case study of Al-kharj Governorate. International Journal of Academic Research, 6(3), 10-18.

Kelly, S. (2014, May). Recent Gains and New Opportunities for Women's Rights in the Gulf Arab States. The Solutions Journal.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted