Women to constitute 28% of Saudi Arabia's work force by 2020

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development aims to reduce the unemployment rate among women with its work from home program. (AFP)
Updated 15 March 2017
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Women to constitute 28% of Saudi Arabia's work force by 2020

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development said that its work from home program is set to create about 141,000 jobs by 2020 and added that it expects that the percentage of women in the Saudi workforce will increase to 28 percent by the same year.
The ministry’s program is part of the National Transformation Program 2020 and one of the main methods geared toward providing adequate job opportunities for citizens, especially women and those with disabilities and job seekers in fields with less opportunities.
The ministry said in a statement that the main aim of the program is to reduce the unemployment rate among women, the percentage of which is higher than the unemployment rate among men due to several social obstructions, including the difficulties women face in commuting and familial responsibilities at home.
The program is expected to contribute to the creation of jobs outside the three main cities of the country and is also expected to increase the participation of women in the local labor market as it will provide flexible working hours and spare them from having to commute to work.
The ministry’s initiatives come within the first phase of the National Transformation Program 2020 that is being implemented in partnership with the Council of Economic Affairs and Development and 18 other government entities.


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”