The General Authority of Statistics has put the rate of spinsterhood among Saudi women at 10.07 percent. This means that one in every 10 women over the age of 15 can be called a spinster. The number of Saudi women who are classified as spinsters — over the age of 32 — stands at 227,860.
The authority’s official spokesman, Tayseer Al-Mifrej, said “spinster” is a term given to women who are of a marrying age but are not married, and the fact is that the probability of getting married after that age becomes less. He added that the statistics are according to the population census that was carried in the last quarter of 2015.
Family affairs consultant Dr. Muhammed Basha said: “The ratio of women remaining single is higher than among men. The key element is the prohibitively high dowry nowadays, which unfortunately, has become a phenomenon. Another reason is the high cost of weddings that have become a burden on the groom. Additionally, the high price of real estate forces both men and women to stay single.”
Dr. Basha added: “No matter how high a woman reaches in terms of education and career, she needs to be a wife at the end of the day.”
Sara Fareed, a single woman, rejects the idea of women needing men in their lives. “I beg to differ. I am an educated, independent woman and I have a job that secures all my needs. I prefer being single until I find the man that suits my mentality and free-thinking, not that I need a man in my life, but the presence of one wouldn’t be a bad idea after all!”
Riham, a divorced woman who prefers to stay single and rejects the term “spinster,” says that the man is the main reason behind spinsterhood. “In my opinion, the problem stems from the fact that men no longer bear family responsibility, unlike the older generation, and this is due to the lack of awareness of marriage and its responsibilities.”
Riham added that the lack of mutual understanding between the two parties “is due to the traditions of our society, where one of the parties, or both, get shocked after marriage as they are unfamiliar with their life partner’s way of thinking.”