Women  Empowerment  in Saudi Arabia  is important part of Vision 2030

Asia Times Desk

Reyadh:The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) confirmed that 2018 has witnessed many decisions

that contributed to the supporting and empowerment of Saudi women, paving their

way for entry into many new areas, Saudi Permanent Representative to the UN

Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Mouallimi said, adding that the Year 2018 marks the year of

transformation and excellence, for the Saudi women. This came in the Kingdom’s

speech, at the session of the Executive Council of the United Nations Women’s

Authority, which he delivered, in New York.


He also thanked the United NationsCommission on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women for its outstanding performance and achievement of most of the goals set for the first year of the

implementation of the Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2021. The Kingdom

appreciated the contribution of the United Nations Women’s Fund to the promotion of

women’s rights in leadership, government and economic empowerment by encouraging

laws that promote women’s rights, as well as supporting the development of

government entities, partnerships, international organizations and policies to enable

women to have better access to services, finance and utilization of productive

resources, Al-Mouallimi concluded.


Up to 70 percent of passport control officers based at key Saudi airports could be

women by next year. The Saudi General Directorate of Passports has started training

760 new female recruits for the soldier-ranked roles, to be assigned to the Kingdom’s

land, sea and air entry and exit points. The latest intake will be the second group to pass

through the directorate’s training center covering the regions of Riyadh, Makkah,

Madinah, and Dammam.


Saudi women will be able to apply for government notary posts following a milestone

move by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice. The ministry announced grade-7 “notary

public” vacancies for women, who will work at notarial offices across the country. The

breakthrough move to boost female employment within the legal sector comes as part

of ministry plans to support and empower women, widen career options and encourage

them play a bigger role in the sector.


In January 2019, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTA) published its Labor Market

Bulletin for the third quarter of 2018. The survey revealed that the economic

participation rate of Saudi women (15 years and over) increased to 19.7% compared to

19.6% for the previous quarter.


In January 2019, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced the launch of

the Unified Regulation of Women's Work Environment Initiative to create an attractive

working environment for women to enhance their presence in various labor market


activities and to facilitate private sector enterprises to attract and empower women to



According to a report by the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the

country’s private sector registered a 130% increase in the number of working Saudi

women during the last four years. Women represent 30% of the total Saudi workforce

in the private sector. Several projects have been initiated to tackle the challenge of

transportation that women face while commuting to work. There are projects that offer

women the option to work from home, which is likely to generate over 140,000 jobs by


Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten issued a decision

appointing Hanadi Ramdani and Nujod Jamal Al-Lail as members of the Board of

Directors of the Foundation for the South Asian Pilgrims' Foundation, in a gesture to

empower Saudi women and increase their participation in the labor market in general

and the Hajj guidance career in particular.


From 2018 onwards girls in Saudi Arabia have started receiving physical education

lessons as part of the curriculum in public schools  .

Women in Saudi Arabia have for the first time been allowed to become notaries, with 12

women granted permission to start working in the profession  .

A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women. Oxford Aviation Academy,

a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of

women hoping to start lessons at a new branch in the eastern city of Dammam  .


Some prominent women in the Kingdom


Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan made diplomatic history when she was sworn in

as Saudi ambassador to the US. She is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in museum

studies from George Washington University. A noted entrepreneur and philanthropist,

before her diplomatic appointment Princess Reema had been vice president of women’s

affairs at the General Sports Authority since 2016  .


Dr. Mona Al Munajjed, Saudi Arabia’s foremost sociologist has been instrumental in

formulating several social development field projects for which she received the UN-21

Award for excellence, outstanding coordination and individual productivity in 2005.


Dr. Hayat bint Sulaiman bin Hassan Sindi is a Saudi Arabian scientist. She was appointed

as the 2011 Emerging Explorer by National Geographic, and in 2012, a United Nations

Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Goodwill Ambassador for

science education. She has served at the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory

Board. She developed a diagnostic tool used for the early detection of breast cancer and

the Magnetic Acoustic Resonance Sensor (MARS).


Dr. Khawla S. Al-Khuraya is a Saudi oncologist and professor of pathology. She is well

known for identifying FOSM1 gene, which prompts the human body to form cancer

cells. She was the first Saudi woman to receive the Order of King Abdulaziz Al Saud in

2010 for her cancer research.


Dr. Tamader Al-Rammah Yousef Mogbel Al-Rammah has been appointed as the

kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Development. She was also appointed

supervisor of the Social Welfare and Family Agency in addition to her work. Additionally,

the member parties of the Convention on Elimination of all kinds of Discrimination

against Women (CEDAW) have elected her as member of the UN committee on

elimination of discrimination against women  .


The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), represented by Hail International

Airport’s administration and Nesma Airlines, celebrated the first official flight of a Saudi

female co- pilot, Ms. Yasmin Al Maimani (29 year old). Ms. Maimani flew her first flight

between (King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and Prince Naif International

Airport in Qaseem) and between (Hail International Airport and Prince Sultan bin

Abdulaziz International Airport in Tabuk). Ms. Maimani holds a commercial license

becoming the first female to co-pilot a commercial plane in the Kingdom of Saudi

Arabia. Nesma Airlines currently employs Ms. Maimani. GACA gives full support to the

empowerment of Saudi women in the field of air transport, in continuation of the great

achievements made by the Kingdom toward female empowerment and its strong presence in the labor market.


Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan made diplomatic history when she was sworn in

as Saudi ambassador to the US. She is a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in museum

studies from George Washington University. A noted entrepreneur and philanthropist,

before her diplomatic appointment Princess Reema had been vice president of women’s

affairs at the General Sports Authority since 2016

Dr. Samar Al-Homoud, consultant colorectal surgeon at King Faisal Specialized Hospital

and the Research Center, whom the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman

bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, honored this year with King Abdulaziz Medal of First Class at the

National Festival of Heritage and Culture (Janadriyah). She was also selected by the

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization to

join the World Commission for the Arbitration of Scientific Research in Cancer.


Dr.Khawla Al-Kuraya, Senior Cancer Research Scientist at King Faisal Specialized Hospital,

currently directs the King Fahd National Center for Children's Cancer and Research, at

King Faisal Specialized Hospital and the Research Center in Riyadh. In the field of science, the researcher Fatoun Sayegh, has got her doctorate degree in applicable fungi technology from University of Liverpool, UK, and she won honorablemembership to the European Organization, working as head of natural marine productsunit at King Fahd Research Center with many memberships to various scientific and international societies in the field of environment and biological technology.

The researcher Hayat Sindy is the first Arab women who got doctorate degree in biological

technology from University of Cambridge, with many inventions including probe of

acoustic and magnetic waves that determines the required medications for human body

and helps astronauts in monitoring sugar and blood pressure levels in their bodies. She

has also research projects in protection of environment and measuring of poisonous



In space field, Princess Dr. Mashael bint Mohammad Al Saud could set a historic

fingerprint as the first Saudi female who is working at the Space Research and Remote

Sensing Institute of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh. Also,

Mashael Al-Shmemari, the first Saudi female who is working in design of nuclear missiles

and joined NASA to carry out space studies, working on the development of special

researches in this field.


Saudi women were also appointed to important economic positions such as Dr. Iman

bint Habbas Al-Mutairi, Assistant to Minister of Commerce and Investment and Mrs.

Kholoud Al-Dekhail, head of the Committee of Statistics at the Council of Saudi

Chambers. Also, Mrs. Sara Al-Suhaimi is the first Saudi woman to be appointed as head

of Tadawul board, specializing in the field of finance and investment and chairing the

board of the strongest regulatory authority of financial market inside and outside Saudi

Arabia. Mrs. Rania Nashar was also appointed as chief executive officer of Samba

financial group with extensive banking experience for about 20 years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *