Shuruq Alsharif(1), Julie Yingling(2), Weiwei Zhang(3),
(1) South Dakota State University, 1810 12th St., Brookings, SD 57006, United States
(2) South Dakota State University, Hansen Hall 004D, Brookings, SD 57006, United States
(3) South Dakota State University, Hansen Hall 009D, Brookings, SD 57006, United States


This research analyzes perceptions surrounding the social reality for women in poverty in Saudi Arabia (K.S.A.) to assist policy-makers in the creation of programs better able to help women in poverty. This study may be considered the first of its kind that includes Saudi women and foreign-born females in the K.S.A. In this study, poor women in Saudi Arabia were examined using the phenomenological approach. Using open-ended questions, in-depth one-onone interviews with the participants were conducted. The findings indicate that the reasons behind their situations include the following key points: (1) dependency on women’s traditional roles, (2) poverty relating to more structural attributes than individual factors, (3) less decision-making power, (4) intersection of gender, citizenship, and tribe status, including occupational status, stateless or non-tribes, education, and age, where older and less educated women experienced more poverty, and (5) financial assistance from SSD and other charities that is not sufficient to leave poverty.

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