Saudi Arabia S Main Challenge Is Dealin Essay

Submitted By wuttkej22
Words: 3014
Pages: 13

Saudi Arabia went from being the world’s largest underdeveloped sand desert country to one of the riches. Before the discovery of oil, Saudi’s population comprised of mostly nomadic people, self-employed and those who lived in urban areas. The World Bank estimates (mid-1970) the population to be around 8.2 million. Today, the World Bank estimates the population to be 29 million of that 8 million is foreign labors. Currently, Saudi Arabia is one of the largest oil and petroleum exporters next to Argentina. The oil and gas sector accounts for 95% of export earnings and 50% of over all GDP; making it one of the largest economies backed by oil in the world. After the first oil boom in 1970, the Saudi Arabian government introduced the development plan aimed to promote economic growth, create job opportunities and to build up the non-oil sector to become less dependent on oil. A large portion of oil revenue has been utilized to expand and diversify other sectors of the economy. The objective of the development plan is to focus on the development of the economy and human resource. Khaild A. Alkhathlan highlights “the success of the development plan is seem in the GDP growth from $20 billion in 1970 to $211.2 billion in 2003” (p.4). In terms of Human resource development, the Saudi government made women’s education a top priority as well as creating job opportunities in the private sector. According to the United Nations Development Report (UNDP) (2013), “Saudi Arabia’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) ranks 145 out of 148 with a value of 0.7892. Female participation in the Labour Force is only 17% but 50% of female receive education.” Despite these small achievements, many believe Saudi Arabia will continue to oppress women in society because the citizens do not demand democracy. Other researchers argues due to the lack international involvement in raising the issue of women’s rights, Saudi women will continue to be suppress. Moreover it seems that the lack of international is part due to the dependency on Saudi Arabia for oil and petroleum. Raising the question: how, is at all, has Saudi Arabia dependency on oil continue to suppress women in society? To answer this question, I will analysis the national development plan over the last three decades and compare them to statistical data provided by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour. In this paper, I will show how Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil revenue has brought great wealth to the country by giving women greater access to education. But still continues to oppress women from entering the labor-force. Literature Review: The discovery of oil, initially, had minimal impact until the oil boom in the early 1970’s that lead to a rapid change in the Saudi labor force. It became apparent early in the development stage that the size of the Saudi population is insufficient to meet the need of a rapidly developing economy. The government resorted to importing, as many expatriate workers need in order to achieve success. At this time the government implemented two five year development plans to focusing on bring basic humans need to the citizen such as schools, home and building construction, roads, water distillations, hospitals and much more. M.G.H. Al-Asmari (2008) argues none of these achievements would have been possible without capital and a labor force imported from outside the country (p.4). Providing that there is a direct relationship between oil revenue and the dependence on foreign labor. Unfortunately today Saudi Arabia heavy dependency on foreign labor continues to hinder internal growth and economic prosperity of its citizen. Recently the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implemented a new policy titled Saudiazation. Scholar’s coined the term; “Saudiazation to describe the process of replacing expatriate labors with domestic labors who are well trained and better qualified for