The problem: Saudi Arabia has an increasingly educated female population. About 60 percent of college graduates in the country are women, and 78 percent of them are unemployed, according to recent surveys. But the country’s ultra-conservative laws and customs forbid women from mingling, much less working, with men.
The solution: Build an industrial city that will only allow women. The female-only zone is scheduled to open inside the Eastern Province city of Hofuf next year, with more ladies-only areas to come in Riyadh, the capital.
If the goal is unleashing the female workforce, “a segregated city will never be as productive or creative as one where the free exchange of ideas among diverse converging people is allowed,” says Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic.
A guide to Saudi Arabia’s women-only city