What Enables Firms to Hire Women? Overcoming Integration Costs in Saudi Arabia

Jennifer Peck

Saudi Arabia has recently experienced rapid growth in women’s economic participation, with female labor force participation nearly doubling from 10.1% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2018. Increasing women’s employment is a key economic and social goal for the Kingdom, and a series of ambitious labor reforms over the past eight years has corresponded with a historic growth of women’s employment in the private sector, which increased over eight-fold from just 71,000 in mid-2011 to 592,000 by the end of 2018.