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Abstract

This study examines perspectives of Saudi university students regarding changing gender roles as affected by women’s rights, education, employment, and activity in the public sphere. Results from a questionnaire distributed among 4,455 male and female students indicate students are confident and optimistic about improving gender equity, however resistance from those holding traditional views still exist. Female respondents are more optimistic than male respondents,seeing changes in gender roles as advantageous to their personal and professional lives. Representing a group of allies, a majority of male students regard changing gender roles positively. Men and women reported personal courage to address these challenges, which is an asset moving forward. While approval will never reach consensus,changes may be forthcoming. By surveying the Saudi university population, this study seeks to inform strategy and policy. Gender equity is only possible through increased societal acceptance of women’s freedom in their everyday lives.