The number of unmarried Saudi women could more than double to four million by the year 2007 because of the social problems spawned by the kingdom's economic development, a senior Saudi sociologist has warned.
Abdullah al-Fuzan, a professor of sociology at Riyadh's King Saud University, was quoted by the Ukaz newspaper on Saturday as saying there were now 1.5 unmarried Saudi women because of "social disorders created by the economic boom."
"Economic development in the past four decades has resulted in qualitative and quantitative changes on all aspects of Saudi life and social norms, especially the family," Fuzan said.
If the current rate continues there will be four million unmarried women in Saudi Arabia within five years, the sociologist warned, adding that 18,000 of 60,000 weddings in 2001 had already ended in divorce.
In the Saudi Kingdom, which has a population of around 16 million, it is usual practice for women to marry before the age of 20. Saudi women are veiled in black in public and are not permitted to travel without the approval of a husband, father or other close male relative, or to eat alone in a restaurant. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )