GCC to tighten gender tests for expat workers

Updated 08 November 2013

GCC to tighten gender tests for expat workers

The Kuwait Ministry of Health has proposed tightening genetic tests for immigrant workers in order to prevent transgender migrants from entering the GCC job market.
Tawfiq Khojah, director-general of the Executive Office at the GCC Health Council, said, “The health checklist for migrant workers now contains a mandatory examination to determine gender.” 
These constrictions are necessary to preserve Islamic principles, he added. The proposal will be made in a meeting for the Central Committee for foreign workers’ at the Health Council to be held on Nov. 11, Khojah told Arab News. 
“Undergoing the test will become mandatory for an estimated 289 health centers across the GCC if the Health Council approves the proposal of tighter controls on gender tests for migrant workers. More than 2 million expatriate workers underwent the new gender tests in 2012,” he said.
Youssef Mendkar, director of the Public Health Department at the Kuwait Ministry of Health, confirmed that the proposal aims to prevent transgender migrants from working in GCC countries. The tests determine the gender at birth.
Gender is also determined through the worker’s medical history. According to local media, sex conversion operations are considered normal in some countries which supply manpower to GCC countries.
He said that statistics from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Interior show that some foreign workers had a different gender recorded on their identity documents.


Buraidah Date Festival hosts exhibition on processing, manufacturing

The Buraidah region is famous for its dates and holds an annual market that starts in August and lasts up to three months. (SPA)
Updated 1 min 51 sec ago

Buraidah Date Festival hosts exhibition on processing, manufacturing

  • Saudi Arabia has the highest number of date palm trees in the world, roughly accounting for 25 percent of the world’s date production

BURAIDAH: The Buraidah Date Festival is hosting an exhibition that focuses on date manufacturing, processing and byproducts, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The exhibition looks at date byproducts such as molasses, dough, sugar, jam, chocolate and maamoul. There are also displays about investment opportunities.
The region is known for its agricultural value to Saudi Arabia. In Buraidah, agriculture is still the cornerstone of the economy.
The Buraidah region is famous for its dates and holds an annual market that starts in August and lasts up to three months. It is the biggest date market in the world in terms of supply, and offers more than 30 varieties.
The festival is supervised by authorities in the Kingdom’s central Al-Qassim region and features events and activities for all ages. It has attracted the participation of entrepreneurs.
It is also a lifeline for thousands of farmers and young people who depend on the income generated from date farming.

HIGHLIGHT

Buraidah is the capital of Al-Qassim region in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. The region is known for its agricultural value to Saudi Arabia. In Buraidah, agriculture is still the cornerstone of the economy.

Saudi Arabia has the highest number of date palm trees in the world, roughly accounting for 25 percent of the world’s date production.
The Qassim region hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of luxury dates annually that are exported regionally and internationally.
The annual date festival is an important place to source products including syrup, paste and gift boxes that are used throughout the year.
The Ministry of Water, Environment and Agriculture encourages date farming, allocates land, helps farmers purchase equipment and provides farmers with access to long-term loans through the Saudi Arabian Agricultural Bank.