All-female center to monitor domestic violence

Updated 23 March 2016
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All-female center to monitor domestic violence

RIAYDH: Social Affairs Minister Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi launched a center for receiving domestic violence calls at the Riyadh headquarters.
Dr. Bandar Mohammad Aleiban, the president of the National Human Rights Commission, was present during the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Social Welfare Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Almeiqil said the center receives calls about domestic violence. The center, which is managed by female Saudi staff who are trained and specialized in the field, is also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and has a toll-free number, 1919.
He pointed out that the center is open 24 hours, seven days a week, and deals with all calls in absolute confidentiality. It targets women of all ages and children under 18 years old, as well as the elderly and people with disabilities.
Almeiqil pointed out that all calls are dealt with according to rules and regulations. He said calls are verified and referred to the nearest unit or protection team, which has been trained on modern methods in how to deal with the reported cases to ensure speedy intervention and protection for abused women and children.
The staff deal with the reported cases according to the specified procedures which start with attempts at reconciliation, to taking abused cases into protection and referring the abuser to relevant authorities, while taking into consideration the interests of the women and children in all cases.
He said the center classifies calls according to their seriousness, with dangerous cases being referred to the police. He said there are 22 social protection teams in various parts of the Kingdom to receive cases and deal with them.
Almeiqil said the ministry entered into partnerships with various government authorities including the Ministry of Interior represented in the provinces’ governorates and police stations, the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice, the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution, the National Human Rights Commission, the Family Safety Program of the Ministry of the National Guard, in addition to other partners for child regulations such as the Ministry of Labor, the General Presidency for Youth Welfare, the Ministry of Commerce, the National Childhood Committee and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
The Ministry of Social Affairs has worked on a number of items of legislation and protective procedures to curb domestic violence such as the executive list of protection from harm and child protection laws.
The launch was attended by the deputy president of the Human Rights Commission, Dr. Naser Alshahrani, Commander of the National Center for Operations Maj. Gen. Abdulrahman Alsaleh, Shourah Council member Dr. Hamda Alinizi, the executive director for the Family Safety Program, Dr. Maha Almuneif and a number of representatives from government partners in social protection, reported Alriyadh.


End of women driving ban caps dramatic year of achievements since Saudi crown prince’s appointment

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has overseen reforms focusing on women’s freedoms and expansion of the entertainment sector. AFP
Updated 24 June 2018
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End of women driving ban caps dramatic year of achievements since Saudi crown prince’s appointment

  • The beginning of 2018 brought a decision that took the Kingdom closer to ending all forms of discrimination against its female population, with women allowed to watch football matches with their families
  • On April 18, a 35-year ban on cinemas was lifted, with a screening of Marvel’s “Black Panther”

JEDDAH: A crackdown on corruption, guarantees of women’s rights, an overhaul of the entertainment sector and a shake-up of the economy — in the past year, Saudi Arabia has witnessed extraordinary changes.
The bold reforms, introduced in the 12 months since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman took his post last June 21, have made headlines locally and globally.
The first sign of social transformation in the Kingdom came on
Sept. 26, 2017, with a royal decree lifting the decades-long ban on women driving. Less than a month later, Princess Reema bint Bandar became the first Saudi woman to be appointed head of a sports federation.
Then, last November, Saudi Arabia initiated unprecedented anti-corruption measures that included princes, government officials and major business owners among its targets. The Kingdom so far has recovered more than $100 billion in its crackdown, and sent a clear signal that those who engage in corrupt business practices will face prosecution.
Corruption was not the only obstacle facing the crown prince, who made clear that embracing moderate Islam is the way forward. “We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” he told a Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
The beginning of 2018 brought a decision that took the Kingdom closer to ending all forms of discrimination against its female population, with women allowed to watch football matches with their families.
Strengthening the Kingdom’s international and diplomatic ties, the crown prince landed in the UK on March 7, kick-starting a global tour to focus on business, political and defense initiatives. After a warm welcome in London, he met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Landing in Washington on March 20, the crown prince had a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and, in New York, met with former US president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state John Kerry. He also held talks with representatives from Harvard University, MIT, Amazon and Warner Bros. studio.
In only a year, the crown prince has successfully reformed many sectors of the Kingdom. Some of the biggest changes were in the Saudi entertainment sector with large-scale concerts and family events surging in popularity.
On April 18, a 35-year ban on cinemas was lifted, with a screening of Marvel’s “Black Panther.” The decision is expected to secure hundreds of millions of dollars that previously Saudi tourists had spent traveling abroad to attend movies. Global companies eager to invest in this unprecedented market in the Kingdom included the blockbuster American theater chain AMC and the UAE’s VOX Cinemas.
The entertainment overhaul is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the country’s economy. On Thursday, the reforms were given added impetus when the Saudi Arabian stock exchange (Tadawul) was upgraded and joined the MSCI Emerging Market Index.
“This is a significant milestone for the Saudi capital market,” Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, said.

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