Saudisation and Women’s Empowerment through Employment in the Health Care Sector
The majority of studies concerning Saudisation policy as a solution to decrease the unemployment of nationals and reduce the reliance on expatriate. However, this study looks at Saudisation as a tool to empower Saudi women working in the health care sector. Saudi working women have been lacking opportunities of empowerment, due to challenges they face in their daily life that hinder the development and equality of those women. The thesis has been guided by the literature and qualitative evidence that suggests obstacles to women’s empowerment and development involve socially constructed norms, traditions, religion and culture that primarily favour men. The study, also, adopts feminist geography and gender perspective and focuses on the individual voices of women working in the health care sector. This research uses different empowerment frameworks of Kabeer, Rowland, Stromquist and Freire, which are relevant to women employment and empowerment. This research utilises feminist methodology in obtaining deep understanding of the reality and experience of women employed in the health care sector. Findings of this research reveal conditions that maintain disempowerment of women working in health care sector, as well as identifying the tools that might guarantee their empowerment. Findings also show those women necessities in the case of gender needs that revolve around their domestic and working responsibilities. This thesis provides some recommendations to government, policy makers, educational institutions and employers about how to contribute in empowering women and overcoming challenges that hinder their development and wellbeing. Ultimately, this study aimed to, first, contribute to the literature of women’s empowerment by exploring their employment in a Saudi context and second, to put the spotlight on Saudi women’s issues through development lens and enrich that field of study.