Case study: Childcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - ESCWA

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Case study: Childcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2022/TP.12


Country: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Gender equality, Inclusive development

Initiatives: Reforming social protection systems, Women’s rights and gender mainstreaming, Women’s economic empowerment

SDGs: Agenda 2030

Keywords: Empowerment, Women, Child care, Employment

Case study: Childcare in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

August 2022

For long, female employment remained primarily concentrated in public education followed by health, it soon became apparent that the saturated public education sector is unable to provide employment for the increasing numbers of female graduates seeking jobs, leading to a steep increase in female unemployment. Persistently high female unemployment rates thus called for addressing both regulatory and cultural challenges boldly; a task undertaken admirably by the large-scale reform programme envisaged by the Saudi Vision 2030.

This study focuses on the economic participation of women and the measures taken to address it, with emphasis on the child hospitality sector that emerged in response to the need for childcare while women are at work. It seeks to develop an in-depth understanding of: characteristics of the childcare economy in the country, its major stakeholders, changes over the last decade and during the COVID-19 pandemic, needs and expectations of families, and the broader policy environment framing public and private provision of care.

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