5,000 Saudi women build careers in mobile phones maintenance

Updated 24 November 2017
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5,000 Saudi women build careers in mobile phones maintenance

MAKKAH: A Saudi woman trainer in mobile phones maintenance says that more than 5,000 women trainees have graduated and entered the labor market in the past three years.
Fadwa Al-Atwi has also created a team of trainers in all regions of Saudi Arabia to unite academic efforts and training platforms.
The Saudi trainer, who runs several courses in America, Jordan and Egypt, told Arab News that the courses in mobile maintenance and other technology skills began five years ago.
Al-Atwi said she had received diplomas from Jordan, Egypt and the US in hardware and software, noting that “the Saudization of the telecommunications sector has increased the involvement of Saudi women in the labor market significantly.”
She said that the program began with small beginner’s courses in the Faculty of Education in Tabuk, in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, and also in private institutes, as well as courses at chambers of commerce and industry in several Saudi cities. It was then expanded to all cities of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Atwi said that the demand for Saudi women in the sector is large and consistent with the challenges of the labor market in the country.
“More than 5,000 have been trained and then entered the labor market either through small and medium-sized enterprises or by doing business from their homes.”
She said that the trainees were able to perform practical and theoretical tasks and to conduct academic research related to maintenance.
“Work is being done on the training of mobile maintenance female technicians in a step toward establishing these professions for Saudi women,” she said. She said the trainees covered a range of ages, including 60-year-old women.
Al-Atwi has also created 18 WhatsApp groups with more than 14,000 members so they can follow up the maintenance process while working. She said that 40 percent of women trainees are working from home, 10 percent are trainers and 50 percent work through specialist shops.
 


Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

Updated 59 min ago
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Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

DAMMAM: A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women, following the end of a decades-long driving ban in the deeply conservative Muslim country where many social restrictions are easing.
Oxford Aviation Academy, a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of women hoping to start lessons in September at a new branch in the eastern city of Dammam.
“People used to travel abroad (to study aviation), which was difficult for women more than men,” said applicant Dalal Yashar, who aspires to work as a civil pilot.
“We are no longer living in the era were women were allowed (to work) in limited arenas. All avenues are now opened for women. If you have the appetite, you have the ability,” she said.
The academy is part of a $300 million project that includes a school for aircraft maintenance and an international center for flight simulators at the airport.
Students receive three years of academic and practical training, said executive director Othman Al-Moutairy.
A decades-long ban on women driving was lifted last month, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at transforming the economy and opening up its cloistered society.
The lifting of the prohibition was welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia, but it has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.