The literature covering the issues of gender inequality points to a collective experience of women in the workplace of limited opportunities for career progression, gender-discriminatory practises and a need to form and use feminine agency in order to try and redress this balance. The literature around the factors affecting equal employment opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia indicates that the legal position of women is confused by the Saudi legal landscape. In particular, there are arguments that the law in Saudi facilitates issues such as rape, which is something which must be analysed in the extended literature review as this could provide evidence of systematic discrimination against women. The existing legal landscape in Saudi Arabia is being challenged in the wake of the Arab Spring protests, but research into emerging legal processes is still needed. Within the workplace, the position of women is more clearly defined, but hindered by traditional views on the role of women and a lack of institutional support. This has triggered a growing trend for Saudi women to become entrepreneurs rather than being employed by organisations where they may face discrimination and ill treatment. However, there is also evidence that this situation may be changing as younger men enter the workforce bringing more progressive attitudes, which are more supportive of women. Overall, the main barriers to women in employment include embedded social and cultural resistance to their employment, particularly in management roles traditional cultural and religious images of women the gendered nature of many Saudi organisations and institutions and the role of men as the head of Saudi households. These issues will thus be investigated further in the extended literature review.
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