Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2018

Human Rights Commission: Saudi Arabia supports women

JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia has said in a report that no fair observer can deny the recent empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia.
Women’s rights are stressed in the Basic Law of Governance, which prohibits discrimination against women and many other regulations contain provisions prohibiting all forms of discrimination.
Many criminal laws contain provisions providing for increased punishment when the victim is a woman, such as anti-trafficking laws, and participation in political and public life is a right available to every citizen in the Kingdom. A minimum of 20 percent of the seats in the Shoura Council have been allocated to women and the laws of the Kingdom have no provisions preventing women from holding senior positions.
The commission’s report stated that the labor system includes provisions to equalize rights and duties between men and women. The decision of the Minister of Labor No. (1/2370) dated 28/8/2010 prevent “any discrimination in wages between male and female workers.”
The Kingdom’s regulations guarantee maternity protection, especially in the workplace. The civil service system prohibits dismissal for any reason related to marriage or maternity.
The report added that Saudi systems offer women the opportunity to represent their government at regional and international levels, and there are no rules requesting the presence of a mahram (male guardian) for women to practice their legal, educational and other rights.
The report added that a judicial principle in 2013 gives women the right to divorce their husbands if they can not bear living with them. The Kingdom’s endorsement of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women gives them even more power.
The Commission’s report stressed that the issuance of the system of protection against abuse, which was prepared by a civil society institution, is a guarantee that contributes to stopping all forms of violence against women.
The Kingdoms education system is based on equality between men and women at all stages. The rate of illiteracy in the Kingdom 25 years ago was 60 percent, with women forming the majority of illiterate Saudis. This rate fell to just 5.31 percent in 2015.
The right to health care is one of the rights guaranteed by the Basic Law of Government. Article 27 of the law states that health care should be offered equally to men and women.
Saudi Vision 2030 states that women form an important component of the country's strength, accounting for more than 50 percent of the number of university graduates, and that work continues to develop their talents and enable them to have the opportunities to build their future and contribute to the development of society and the economy.

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.