Gradual shift

Saudi women finally gaining traction in workplace

For decades, women in Saudi Arabia have been given rights that are hardly better than those afforded to children, but in recent years a gradual shift has begun. Women are now taking on new roles in the workplace and it’s resulting in some women achieving financial independence. Of course, women in the super conservative Muslim culture must still seek permission from a male relative to do things that women in other countries take for granted — like going to school or traveling out of the country. But change is certainly afoot. One woman whose life exemplifies that change is Sofana Dahlan, who was profiled by The Los Angeles Times. Nearly two decades ago, Dahlan left Saudi Arabia to study law in Egypt (legal studies weren’t offered to women back then) and in the intervening years she’s become a respected attorney who has helped artists and other creative types launch prosperous businesses. “No matter how successful we are, no matter how much we achieve, the world still chooses to see us as oppressed,” Dahlan said, reflecting on outsider perceptions of the kingdom. “And in reality, a lot of us are not.” Experts the L.A. Times spoke to speculated on what’s led to the cultural changes there.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.

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