Unemployment rate among Saudi women hits 34%

Updated 23 April 2014
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Unemployment rate among Saudi women hits 34%

The rate of unemployment amongst Saudi women in 2013 has been pegged at 34 percent, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to recent statistics issued by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI).
The rise in unemployment is surprising given the government’s drive to encourage private companies to employ Saudi women as well as the high percentage of university graduates.
Early this year, Fahad Al-Tukhaifi, assistant undersecretary for development, said the ministry should exert more efforts to employ Saudi women, as the rate of unemployment is still high.
“I don’t think it is the lack of jobs but the introduction of women in new sectors is a real challenge,” said Khalid Al-Khudair, CEO of Glowork, an online platform for female employment based in Riyadh. “Saudi women are entering many new industries, such as the tourist industry, but gradually.”
“In the past two years, with the help of the Human Resource Development Fund (HADAF) and other training institutions, over 160,000 women have been hired in the private sector. This year, there are over 450,000 women working in the private sector,” he added.
Regarding the rate of unemployment, he said, “The only accurate way to measure employment is through Hafiz. That is the only way to find real committed job seekers.”
“However, another reason for the rise in unemployment amongst women is the high percentage of fresh graduates- mostly college graduates and vocational trainees, and probably those who haven’t reached the employment age and that’s why they don’t belong in the criteria,” said Al-Khudair.
Meanwhile, the CDSI statistics also showed that the rate of unemployment among men stands at 6.2 percent.
According to the Civil Affairs Ministry, there are 1.2 million Saudis working in the public sector with women accounting for 38.3 percent.
The study also noted that most Saudi women prefer to work in the education sector as teachers or administrators mainly due to social factors and because the education sector provides the most appropriate work environment for Saudi women. The education sector currently encompasses the highest percentage of Saudi women workforce, estimated at 87.4 percent.
At a recent conference discussing unemployment, Al-Tukhaifi noted, that Saudi women must be encouraged to enter different domains and industries.
“Many Saudi women are heading businesses in the private sector. However, the business sector has not succeeded yet in ensuring women take up jobs in the retail sector. We can only say we have succeeded if Saudi women replace expatriate workers.”
He also indicated that the feminization of shops selling women’s products would be complete by 2016.
Meanwhile, Osama Filali, an economist, said, “It is important to alert the private sector of the significance of addressing the unemployment situation by creating employment opportunities. There is a need to work the system to replace expatriates with Saudis, and to put an end to minimum wage in line with a certificate of employee expertise and the nature of work.”


Saudi Arabian women make UK list of top innovators

Updated 6 min 35 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian women make UK list of top innovators

Mohammed Al-Sulami JEDDAH: Two Saudi women have landed in a prominent top 100 list at the prestigious British Fashion Council.
Marriam Mossalli, founder and senior consultant of Saudi’s luxury communications firm, Niche Arabia, and Taleedah Tamer, the first Saudi international runway model, joined the ranks of the esteemed key players in the fashion industry.
They were two of only three women from the GCC to make it into the most innovative and inspiring youth category.
The announcement was made by the British Fashion Council during the Fashion Awards 2018, which was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall last week.
The list includes trailblazers, from image-makers, hair and makeup artists, set designers and creative directors, to models, digital influencers and stylists.
This year marks the first time the Fashion Awards 2018, in partnership with Swarovski, celebrates the young global creative community by introducing this category.
Niche Arabia has played a significant role in shaping the fashion industry in the GCC. Mossalli has recently published “Under The Abaya”, the first street style book created in Saudi Arabia, which showcases the dimensions of progressive Saudi women who have always existed behind the scenes.
“I’m honored to be part of the Fashion Awards ‘100 New Wave Creatives’ list,” said Mossalli. “Having 2,000 judges nominate me is truly a benchmark in my decade-long career. What’s more, our inclusion signifies the world’s increasing interest in Saudi Arabia.”
Taleedah Tamer is the first runway model from the GCC to strut gear at an international fashion week. Taleedah launched her first show with Italian couture brand, Antonio Grimaldi, at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.
Taleedah has already garnered significant global interest, being featured in The New York Times and The Telegraph, among other publications.
Her summer cover story in Harper’s Bazaar Arabia garnered international headlines and made her a viral Internet sensation.
“I was really happy and grateful for the acknowledgment,” said Tamer. “It was amazing to see all these creative talents recognized. Vivienne Westwood caught my attention. The experience was really humbling and I am very honored to be a part of such industry.”
“We are extremely proud to be celebrating ‘New Wave: Creatives’ as a new entry in our categories,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of BFC.
“London, more than any other city, represents youth and creativity, which makes it the perfect place to acknowledge their contribution to the global fashion industry.”