Report: 23 jobs not for women in Saudi Arabia

Updated 09 April 2016
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Report: 23 jobs not for women in Saudi Arabia

DAMMAM: There are 23 jobs that women are not allowed to undertake in Saudi Arabia, according to an official from the Labor Ministry in the Eastern Province.
In a local media report on Friday, Sultan Al-Mutairi, head of the ministry’s inspection department, said the country’s labor laws only allow women to work in certain positions that suit their nature.
The report quoted Al-Mutairi as listing the banned occupations, which include working underground, with sewage and petroleum derivatives, excavating, using cement, construction and painting requiring standing on high scaffolding, and ovens melting iron.
In addition, they cannot work in industries generating energy, handle dynamite, oxygen welding, car workshops, and as blacksmiths. They must also not be employed to work with fertilizers derived from various materials including the waste of animals or blood, the report stated.
They are further banned from melting glass, loading and unloading goods in ports, making metal vehicles containing more than 10 percent lead, and manufacturing or fixing electric batteries. In addition, they must not be employed in the rubber, dyeing and coal industries; and cannot make mirrors using mercury.
The report stated that they cannot be employed in factories treating ash containing lead or extracting silver out of lead, manufacturing lead dioxide or yellow lead dioxide, cleaning workshops, and fixing or cleaning machines.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”