Women in arab business world

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Hochschule Karlsruhe-Technik und Wirtschaft
Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Intercultural Business Communication
IMM1 – (WS 09/10)


Women in Arab Business Cultures

I) In Middle East

• Women in Saudi Arabia

Status of women 

Saudi Arabia is rather conservative=

• Saudi Arabia has a system of control includingseparate schools, inequities in legal rights, unequal access to property and jobs, and restrictions on freedom of movement imposed only on women
• Women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to vote in the country's municipal elections
• The Saudi Arabian government provides educational opportunities for females as well as males. However, traditionally women were deprived of official education• Women in Saudi Arabia are not permitted to drive vehicles

Dress Code
• Never show bare shoulders, stomach, calves and thighs
• Wearing the hijab is enforced in Saudi Arabia. All Saudi Muslim women are required, by both law and tradition, to wear a full black cloak, called an abaya
• Women should not wear bright coloured clothes or clothes that are adorned so thatthey may attract men's attention
• Business women should make certain that their collarbones and knees are covered and that their clothes are not form-fitting
• Women should always wear modest clothing in public

• Women in Bahrain
Status of women 
• Women are more publicly active in Bahrain than in most Arab countries
• Bahraini women are highly educated and are wellrepresented in all of the major professions, as well as various women's societies and organizations
• About one-quarter of Bahraini women hold jobs outside the home
• Women have the right to vote

Dress Code

• Business attire is conservative
• Many Bahraini women are not completely veiled; however, some still wear a head-covering in public
• Women should avoid givingoffense by wearing extremely conservative clothing

• Women in Iran
Status of women 

• Women are playing increasingly prominent roles in Iran, and business and industry are no exceptions
"Women are a gold mine because of their honesty, their hard work, and the care they take in their work"

• The rise of women in Iranian business could have profound social implications.Women, who have faced harsh restrictions in the Islamic Republic, are key supporters of reform

• In 2002-03, some 53% of the students admitted to universities were women. The Islamic regime has inadvertently aided the feminist cause by requiring women to wear Islamic dress. The practice has helped convince traditionalist parents to permit their daughters to attend universities, which used to beperceived as centers of hedonism

Dress Code

• Business attire is formal and conservative
• Ties are not worn by Iranians but it would not be seen as negative if you did so
• Women should always dress modestly and cover their hair
• Whether doing business in Iran, women should wear very conservative clothing that covers arms, legs and hair. When in public women must covertheir hair with a scarf
• Women can now be seen wearing make-up, jeans and scarves that barely cover the hair

II) In North Afrika

• Women in Morocco

Status of women
• Women often occupy different roles: their legal rights; access to education and health care; workforce participation; and their dating, marriage and family life

• Education and jobs for womenseen as key factors contributing to progress and change. Focus group participants describe efforts to increase the quality of women’s education and women’s increasing presence in the workplace as two of the most important factors contributing to changes in the status of Moroccan women

• Economic necessity is one factor leading to changes in popular views on women in the work...