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.”


Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

Updated 42 min 35 sec ago
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Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

  • Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week
  • The Grazia Middle East Style Awards will this year take place in Riyadh

RIYADH: Emerging Saudi fashion designers will get a chance to showcase their work alongside internationally renowned peers — including Yahya Couture, Yuliya Yanina and Lama Askari — during the second edition of Saudi Fashion Week, which runs from October 21 to 25, 2018.

The dates were revealed by the event’s founder, Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, who made a statement with her choice of outfit for the official announcement: a black abaya with a traditional Saudi hand embroidered, red design.

The princess, who is the founder of Saudi fashion community and Saudi Fashion Week in Saudi Arabia, said she always dreamed of being part of the fashion industry and is working hard to help the dreams of others come true as well, by supporting local designers,providing them with a platform on which to showcase their creativity, and supplying them with the tools they need to succeed.

“This fashion week is sponsored by the GCA and we want to highlight our Saudi culture,” she said when asked how the second edition will differ from the inaugural event in April 2018. “Every designer is unique and designs in a different way. Our culture is not only about wearing an abaya; it’s what makes you comfortable as a person.

“We have more local names coming out and a program to support emerging designers. This is a platform with which we support Saudi designers, in their country, which they represent.”

However, it also embraces the wider international fashion industry, as well.

“it’s an exchange of cultures. It’s a platform for Saudi and other countries,” said Princess Noura. “When we speak about fashion, it’s a mirror that reflects our culture and modernity.”

To help launch the careers of Saudis who are just starting out in the fashion industry, a “Top emerging Saudi designers” program has been developed, and the country’s fashion community has chosen six designers to participate, some of whom are recentcollege graduates. It will offer them support and give them real-world experience of the fashion industry.

Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week, with three runway shows each day, beginning at 8pm. In addition, a fashion festival featuring pop-up stores will run throughout the event. The Grazia Middle East Style Awards, which is usually held in Dubai, will this year take place in Riyadh on the final day of Saudi Fashion Week.

“I want every designer in Saudi Arabia to not be afraid and to come out and show what they are made of. Be Brave,” added Princess Noura.