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Opinion
Karen E. Young

Saudi Arabia’s Housing Goals Need Empowered Women

The key to meeting the kingdom’s target of 70% home ownership by 2030 lies in more women getting jobs – and mortgages.

Would she like a loan for the house, to go with the one for the car?

Would she like a loan for the house, to go with the one for the car?

Photographer: Maya Anwar/Bloomberg

A year ago, much of the conversation about women’s empowerment in Saudi Arabia centered on the government’s decision to let them drive. Other well-publicized reforms since then have opened up opportunities for women in the military and aviation, as well as access to previously proscribed or restricted spaces, like sports stadiums and music concerts.

But away from the headlines and photo-ops, Saudi women are also being empowered by gender-neutral policy changes. One example: the government’s aim to increase home ownership among citizens to 70% by 2030.