Prince Faisal to help establish women’s industrial firm

Updated 01 March 2013
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Prince Faisal to help establish women’s industrial firm

Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman promised businesswomen in Yanbu that he would help them establish a women’s industrial company during a visit to the women’s section of the Yanbu Chambers of Commerce and Industry (YCCI) on Sunday.
The businesswomen’s center requested the prince to launch a female industrial zone to manufacture chocolates, soap, textiles and accessories. They also discussed with the prince the possibility of establishing an all-women’s factory for plastic products, using the byproducts of the Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
The prince also presided over the Yanbu local council and municipal council meetings, to discuss the implementation of various new projects in the governorate.
During his inspection tour of the YCCI, the prince visited a women’s training center, a businesswomen center and an exhibition at the Yanbu International Exhibition Center. He also visited the heritage village, a historical museum and women’s bazaar organized by the chamber. The prince’s latter visit was significant as the bazaar houses a number of sections run by Saudi women, including a women’s bakery, a children’s section, a local handicraft heritage display, a section for businesswomen and unit for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
While returning from his meetings with the members of the local municipality council and the governorate, the prince met with a number of citizens waiting outside, listening to their demands and receiving their petitions. He assured them that they would hear good news regarding their concerns.
Upon his arrival at the coastal town of Al-Rayes, the governor of Badr, Saleh Al-Khalifa, received the prince and the two discussed the latest progress concerning the projects developing in the Rayes beach area, as well as on the islands situated to the west and south of the town.
Meanwhile, the prince also visited historical sites such as the Al-Adwah Al-Dunya, Al-Adwah Al-Quswavin in Badr, as well as the graveyard of the martyrs and Al-Areesh mosque. The prince discussed with the members of the local and municipal council of Badr matters related to the development projects in the governorate.


Saudis back ‘life-changing’ reform allowing women to drive, survey reveals

Updated 6 min 4 sec ago
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Saudis back ‘life-changing’ reform allowing women to drive, survey reveals

  • A major poll shows an overwhelming majority of Saudis agree with the ground-breaking reform giving women the right to drive.
  • In a poll of Saudi nationals conducted by Arab News/YouGov, 77 percent of Saudis said they agreed with the decision to allow women to drive.

JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia’s women prepare to take the driver’s seat and make history, a major poll shows an overwhelming majority of Saudis agree with the ground-breaking reform giving them the right to drive.
In a poll of Saudi nationals conducted by Arab News/YouGov, 77 percent of Saudis said they agreed with the decision to allow women to drive. The results also showed that most Saudi women are eager and ready to start driving.
The survey of more than 500 Saudis showed 82 percent of women and 71 percent of men supported the decision.
A number of women across Saudi Arabia who held international licenses have already been issued with Saudi driving licenses, with numbers expected to rise in future. A report by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimated that up to 150,000 women would get driving licenses in Saudi Arabia annually.
The poll found one of the main reasons for supporting women driving is that it allows more freedom of movement, with 35 percent saying it will provide easier access to employment for women.
According to the poll, lifting the ban on women driving will help to increase female participation in the workforce, as most women who plan to drive will do so in order to get to work.
Another major reason cited was the economic boost, with 42 percent saying that lifting the driving ban will give women more employment opportunities.
The automotive industry can also expect a financial lift with 85 percent of Saudi women planning to buy cars once the ban is lifted.
The transportation industry as well could benefit, as the move will create more jobs for women in the industry. Careem plans to create 100,000 jobs for female drivers. Uber says it will open its first “female partner support center” in Saudi Arabia and recruit women to work for the company.
The reform will help improve equality in society, according to 28 percent of people polled. A third of those polled pointed to an increase in household income due to more women entering the workforce and the fact that families no longer have to pay for drivers.
Four in 10 people agreed that the move is a major step in a series of broad reforms under the banner of Vision 2030.
Two-thirds of women questioned said the decision would transform their lives. In the past, male members of the family had to make time to perform driving- related errands, including driving their spouse, children, parents and family members around. Women can now take on such tasks, which would have a big impact on people’s lives.
However, 23 percent of people polled expressed their discomfort with women driving — the move was more popular with women than men as only 70 percent of males agreed with movement compared with 82 percent of females.
Fifty-four percent of participants feared that it would be unsafe for women to drive, while 36 percent claimed it broke with local cultural traditions.
Other concerns were that it would create too much freedom in society, as there is a belief that a male relative should accompany a woman in public. Some also said that allowing women to drive violates religious teachings.