Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- More academic majors should be available for women at university, a report by the Saudi government said on Wednesday after recent figures indicated that Saudi women were underrepresented in the labor market, with women only making up 14% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia . Women were also shown to be concentrated in the education and health sectors and were less involved in other economically important productive sectors such as information technology, communications, commerce, and banking.
The report, seen by Asharq al Awsat, revealed that 86% of women graduates studied theoretical subjects in high school and university, affecting their chances of one day joining the workforce.
According to the report, this problem also extended to men as the majority of university students in the Kingdom were enrolled on humanities courses and shunned practical and scientific subjects. Currently, the number of male students in engineering, medicine, and health studies hovered around 26.8%.
With three quarters of male university students preferring theoretical subjects, Saudi Arabia was facing a problem sue to the lack of concurrence between the needs of the labor market and the economy on the one hand and the preferences of university students for lighter subjects on the other, especially women.
Despite recent improvements to the education of women in Saudi Arabia, such as increasing the number of female students in high school and university, now higher than that of men, closer inspection of the education sector revealed a number of problems that needed to be addressed.