‘Many role models among Saudi women’

Updated 09 January 2014
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‘Many role models among Saudi women’

Saudi Arabia has many inspirational women that are ideal role models for future generations, a leading businesswoman said here recently.
Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, chief executive officer of Alfa International and Al-Hama LLC, and head of the judges’ panel for the Arab Woman Awards, said this would contribute to a successful nation.
She made the comments on Wednesday in Riyadh at a meeting to pick the winners of the awards. ITP Consumer, the largest publishing group in the Gulf, established the awards in 2009, to honor inspirational Arab women.
“I’m very proud that my nation can give us so many accomplished and successful women from diverse backgrounds. I believe the event is an opportunity and responsibility to inspire the next generation. Our nation is blessed with enough role models to motivate us all to succeed.”
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Jan. 29 in Riyadh. The event is strictly for women only.
The panel of judges includes Rasha Al-Turki, chief executive officer of Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women; Rola Ashour, lecturer at Dar Al-Hekma College; Lina Almaeena, founder of the Jeddah United basketball team; Sue Holt, deputy general manager at ITP; and Nadine Al-Chaer, editor of Ahlan! Arabia, ITP’s weekly female Arabic lifestyle magazine.
The nominees will be judged in different categories including business, education, art, literature, sport, fashion design, medical, humanitarian, media, government, Inspirational Arab Woman of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.
Holt said the awards have gathered momentum in the Gulf. “These awards will now run annually in January so we can discover more talented women and hopefully create positive role models for others.”
Since its formation, the event has honored over 170 successful women. In the past five years, it has grown from being held annually in the United Arab Emirates to include Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It will be held in Bahrain in 2015.


Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

Updated 15 min 54 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s social protection system to ensure equitable distribution

  • Al-Manzalawi: Saudi Arabia had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty
  • Integration of disabled people in labor market top priority, UN meeting told
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has told a UN meeting that it has developed a system of social protection to protect low-income families in cooperation with government agencies.
The system will give priority to eradicating poverty and raising the standard of living within three main areas: Social assistance, social insurance and labor market programs.
The news came in a speech delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr. Khalid Al-Manzalawi, during the general debate at the 57th session of the UN Commission for Social Development.
“The Kingdom is currently undertaking several economic reforms to reduce the fiscal deficit, stimulate non-oil revenues and reduce subsidies and tax legislation,” he said.
Al-Manzalawi added that poverty is one of the most important global problems, to the extent that the UN has made addressing it one of its priorities, developing 17 development programs that aim to lift societies out of such hardship.
“Looking closely, we note that the problem is not just economic, but is highly related to social, cultural, legal and political changes,” he said. “Therefore, poverty differs from one society to another, and so does the way of dealing with it. However, there are common strategic foundations that can be adopted by all societies to solve this problem, though they can be implemented in different methods and mechanisms.”
He said that the Kingdom had finished developing a comprehensive strategy to deal with poverty. This strategy includes initiatives and projects that will contribute to improving living standards.
He said that the Kingdom has taken many measures to promote social security for people with disabilities and achieve their social integration. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also supervises the work of 38 rehabilitation shelters for people with special needs and the Kingdom is home to 44 specialized associations and 347 day-care centers that serve disabled people of all ages.
He said that the Kingdom has developed a national plan for people with disabilities. This covers 23 initiatives aimed at taking care of them, developing a standard classification for disabilities and national databases that constitute the reference point to follow up on related regulations and policies, along with leading the implementation of the work plan and empowering, raising awareness and providing support and consultation.
One of the 37 objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 is to empower the integration of disabled people in the labor market.
In his speech before the UN, Al-Manzalawi said: “The Kingdom has promoted women’s place by developing their potentials and investment to activate their role on the local and international levels.
“Vision 2030 sheds light on the efforts needed to guarantee women empowerment in societal and economic development and present them as influential and effective members on all levels.”
He also highlighted the Kingdom’s commitment to investing in the education sector, where it has provided free education at all levels in the Kingdom, including higher education.
Al-Manzalawi ended his speech by stressing that the Kingdom will always work with the UN and the international community to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development 2030 and a bright future for future generations.