International Education Journal


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Women and education in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and achievements

Amani Hamdan
University of Western Ontario, Canada

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The historical socio-economic and political conditions of Saudi Arabia are an essential aspect of understanding a woman’s position in Saudi society. The persistence of women’s exclusion from public life in contemporary Saudi Arabia is one of the most heated debates not only among Muslims but also worldwide, as Saudi society comes under more and more scrutiny internationally. In 1980, there were more female graduates in the humanities than male. University women could study most of the same subjects as their male counterparts except those, which might lead to their mixing with men. This paper explores some of the restraints and achievements of women in the field of education in Saudi Arabia today.

Illiteracy, literacy rate, women’s rights, education, Saudi Arabia, oil wealth


Hamdan, A. (2005) Women and education in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and achievements. International Education Journal, 6 (1), 42-64.

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