Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

Updated 19 January 2016
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Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

ABHA: Various economic reforms underway are helping to cement the participation of women in the country’s economy, according to experts.
Economist Muhammad Al-Bashri said the reforms have ensured that women are increasingly setting up and running small businesses.
However, they are still not saving as much as they should be, and many with diplomas remain unemployed.
He said that Saudi women make up 21 percent of investments in the private sector, have registered 43,000 businesses and own 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses. The size of their investments stands at SR8 billion. They make up 75 percent of savings in banks.
More than 20 percent of funds invested in joint business operations come from women. However, they make up 14.11 percent of the labor force in the Kingdom, with 30 percent employed by state institutions. In addition, 84.1 percent are employed in the education sector; and make up 40 percent of Saudi doctors.
Businesswoman Fatin Bundagji said that women still do not have adequate representation at the country’s chambers of commerce and industry, making up only 20 percent of members, while the government has stipulated that it should be nothing less than 50 percent.
This means that there should be further reforms undertaken in the country’s economy to support women’s empowerment. Women play as essential role in the economy as men, she said.
Businesswoman Sarah Al-Ayed said there is considerable support for women, but there needs to be greater participation in the small business sector, and in partnerships with both private and public sector agencies.
Economist Fadil Abulainain said that while legislation does not differentiate between men and women, with support for membership of commerce chambers and municipal councils, there needs to be a greater focus on how to change attitudes in society.
Businesswoman Nora Al-Rafi said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has provided unprecedented support for women, in line with what has been happening over the past number of years.


Minneapolis man convicted in death of Saudi Arabian student

Updated 19 April 2018
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Minneapolis man convicted in death of Saudi Arabian student

MENOMONIE, Wisconsin: A Wisconsin jury has convicted a Minneapolis man with a string of domestic violence convictions of battery in the death of a student from Saudi Arabia, but acquitted him on a more serious murder charge.
Cullen M. Osburn, 28, awaits sentencing July 13 for a potential maximum of eight years in the death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, 24, a junior who was majoring in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
After a six-day trial and six hours of deliberations, the Dunn County jury on Tuesday night found Osburn guilty of aggravated battery with intent to cause bodily harm, but not guilty of felony murder.
Prosecutors say Osburn punched Alnahdi in the face outside a pizzeria in Menomonie early on Oct. 30, 2016. Alnahdi died the next day at a hospital. Osburn didn’t know Alnahdi.
District Attorney Andrea Nodolf argued that Osburn was looking for a fight after making 50 unanswered phone calls to his girlfriend and threatened to beat someone else up unless she answered.
“You heard those phone calls,” the prosecutor said. “You heard the defendant call her, ‘retarded, stupid.’ This is a man who uses violence without hesitation.”
Prosecutors also said Osburn later bragged to a motel worker about being in a fight and demonstrated the punch to that worker, which was captured on the motel’s surveillance video.
The defense argued that Osborn never threw a punch.
“I want a retrial,” Osburn said after the judge read the verdict.
“He doesn’t understand why he was charged. He feels like he didn’t do anything wrong,” said Osburn’s attorney, Christopher Zipko. “Mr. Osburn maintains that he never put his hands on Mr. Alnahdi.”