ALKHOBAR: NADA TAHIR
Published — Friday 22 February 2013
Last update 22 February 2013 4:38 am
The final day of the women’s conference on social entrepreneurship held at the Sofitel Hotel was marked by enthusiasm as the participants interacted with the speaker’s panels throughout the day, asking questions and presenting their different points of view.
One such talk was delivered by Dr. Kholoud Al-Qahtani from the Ministry of Labor, who touched upon several important areas related to female empowerment and employment.
“The ministry has adopted the Social Dialogue Model from the International Labor Organization (ILO) which brings together the government, employers and workers to discuss issues on the same platform. Our first forum was held in September of last year and encouraged dialogue on labor working hours, where each side shared their recommendations, thus positively contributing to the environment of the private sector. These were then forwarded to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” said Al-Qahtani.
“Conferences such as this are extremely important in encouraging women to work and to think in an entrepreneurial mindset. I am highly impressed by the efforts of the Ebda’a Exchange in organizing it. It has been a very exciting experience,” she said.
The conference also gave visitors the opportunity to approach several information booths set up to raise awareness about social entrepreneurship and the importance of the role women must play in any society that is set to grow forward economically. Set up by the Ministry of Labor, the booth displaying the ‘Taqaat’ initiative targeted both job seekers and employers, both of which were largely present at the conference.
“Taqaat is a placement center initiative by the government that helps the unemployed by bringing them in direct contact with companies that are seeking to employ jobseekers. Additionally, career advisers are also present to give advice and point out strengths and weaknesses of job seekers so as to help them improve,” explained a representative present at the booth.
Be it a sense of pride or a sense of hopefulness that the conference inspired in its participants, “Saudi women are finally realizing how much they can do and how to use the opportunities available to them,” beamed Rania, a young student attending the event.