General Court in Riyadh retracts ban on unveiled women

File photo of Saudi women queue for a pop concert at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in the Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 28 December 2017
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General Court in Riyadh retracts ban on unveiled women

JEDDAH: The General Court in Riyadh amended the decision to limit the entry inside the court to veiled women. Women can now enter courts without the need to cover their faces, as long as they dress modestly and adhere to the court’s dress regulations.
The court replaced a circular issued last year by the court’s president in which he stressed that women would not be admitted to the court if they are not dressed appropriately in revealing garments or without the face being covered.
Shoura member and associate professor at King Saud University Dr. Eqbal Darandari told Arab News: “Any applicant frequenting a government department is expected to uphold and adhere by its dress code. Courts of law, specifically, are governed by religious sanctions, which calls for women to dress accordingly in modest attire.”
In response to the news she said: “That, however, does not mean that we restrict all women under a specific Islamic sect, as there have always been differing opinions and sects when it comes to hijab. I’m sure everyone is grateful and appreciative of such a decision, as it helps the court to provide women with all needed services.”
She also believes it will enable women to feel more comfortable in frequenting courthouses, for when they dress as they regularly do, they’ll feel welcome and at ease.
Hala Abdullah from Riyadh told Arab News: “I was ecstatic, of course. It’s not just a step in the right direction – it’s completely necessary and couldn’t have come sooner. Proper representation of women in the courts of law cannot take place if we’re literally and figuratively invisible. We need to be seen.”
@iPhonjy responded with a tweet saying: “Finally, true Islam is slowly but surely returning to Saudi Arabia.”


King Salman approves health care programs

King Salman
Updated 10 min 43 sec ago
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King Salman approves health care programs

  • Clinical coding licenses and standards will be included in unified national standards for accreditation of health facilities
  • The training program aims to improve the quality of health care and control expenditure

JEDDAH: King Salman on Sunday approved the implementation of an electronic sick-leave system, and directed relevant authorities to coordinate with the Civil Service Ministry in case of any amendments to the terms for granting sick leave.
He also approved a program to train Saudi professionals in clinical coding. The Saudi Health Council and the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) are cooperating to implement the training program, whose aim is to encourage the private health sector to hire the program’s graduates by leveraging the funding provided by Hadaf.
The training program aims to improve the quality of health care and control expenditure. The Health Ministry’s General Directorate of Licenses will establish an electronic network linked to the licensing system of the Clinical Coding Department at the National Center for Health Information.
The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance will work with the Saudi Health Council to develop controls and find ways to employ graduates at private health care institutions.
Clinical coding licenses and standards will be included in unified national standards for accreditation of health facilities.
This initiative is part of the Saudi Health Council’s efforts to contribute to achieving the Vision 2030 reform plan, whose objectives include the Saudization of certain professions that are vital for the national economy.