Crown Prince Salman affirms govt’s support for charity

Updated 09 December 2012

Crown Prince Salman affirms govt’s support for charity

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, emphasized yesterday the government's keenness to support and encourage charitable works inspired by the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).
Addressing the 20th anniversary of Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, he said the PSCDR represents one of the shining examples of charitable work in the country. “It works to prevent disability through scientific research,” he added.
He said the move is in line with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s direction and keenness to enable Saudi citizens to have a healthy life.
“The government has issued numerous resolutions that seek to minimize the suffering of the handicapped and help them rehabilitate in society in addition to providing both financial and physical assistance to the institutions that look after their welfare,” he pointed out.
He commended the contributions made by King Abdullah, and the late King Fahd, Prince Sultan and Prince Naif toward the center’s progress and urged all those present to contribute to the first PSDC endowment.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the center’s Board of Trustees, said that the presence of the crown prince underlines state support led by King Abdullah to the center.
“It also signifies the desire of the Saudi leadership to support institutions involved in the overall development of society, as well as the importance they give to the issue of disability and disabled people,” he said.
Prince Sultan spoke highly of the achievements of PSCDR in the last two decades. The center has gained the confidence and support of the founders, members, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. He commended the inherent goodness and generosity of people in the Kingdom.
“It was not easy to convince people 20 years ago about the idea of creating a scientific research center to study matters related to disability,” the prince said.
He said the center's early detection program has saved the lives of 900 children from disability, besides other programs such as Prince Sultan Advance Research with the collaboration of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Prince Salman honored a number of prominent Saudis who have supported Prince Salman Center for Disability Research during a celebration here yesterday marking PSCDR’s 20th anniversary.
The high-profile function at King Fahd Cultural Center was attended by senior princes, officials and other prominent personalities including foreign diplomats.
He reviewed the major achievements of the center since its inception in the cause of rehabilitating the victims of disability and the vital role played by the center in bridging the gap in specialized research.
A number of Saudi personalities were honored during the ceremony for their outstanding support to the advancement of the center and launching national initiatives in the field of disability.
The center also received a prestigious award from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, named the best scientific research center in the Arab world, as well as the GITEX Global Center Award.
The event will also feature an exhibition of most programs and projects adopted by the center since its inception. These include the national program for testing early and comprehensive accessibility program, learning difficulties and integrated systems for program development of daycare centers, the National Survey of Health and the pressures of life and academic training, in addition to the scholarship program.
The 20th anniversary highlighted the diligent work the PSCDR and its partners have conducted during the past two decades. The center aspires to become a recognized center of excellence in disability research with a global impact.
The center has established various programs and activities including, training programs for disabled persons, a national project for learning disabilities, a universal accessibility program and an early detection program. PSCDR created the Prince Salman Award for Disability Research to encourage and support researchers who have contributed to field of disability.

Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018

Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.