Saudi woman minister tells UN of female jobs bonanza in Kingdom

Tamadar bint Yousef Al-Ramah
Updated 15 March 2018

Saudi woman minister tells UN of female jobs bonanza in Kingdom

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia is helping ever-more women into the workplace, with everything from college places to schemes for nurseries and transport, one of the Kingdom’s highest-ranking female officials told the UN on Wednesday.
Tamadar bint Yousef Al-Ramah, who was appointed as deputy minister of labor and social development last month, addressed the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in New York — a major annual women’s rights gathering.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes work is a woman’s right,” Al-Ramah told delegates. “We have put in place a program that supports the economic empowerment of women and increases her participation in the workplace.”
Women now make up 56 percent of Saudi university graduates, she said. Some 205,000 female students receive grants to study abroad each year and women are bagging more jobs in private, public and government institutions, Al-Ramah said.
The speech came as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman implements the Vision 2030 reform agenda, which aims to raised the participation of women in the Saudi workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent by 2030.
Saudi officials are also loosening social restrictions on women, who can now attend sports events and will be allowed to drive cars from June as the Kingdom embraces a more open and tolerant interpretation of Islam.
But while there have been fast-paced changes in Saudi, the situation for women in the occupied West Bank and Gaza is one of stalled progress, Al-Ramah said under the UN General Assembly hall’s domed roof.
“Palestinian women, similar to other women around the world, have the right to practice economic political and social activities, and this is impossible under the policy of blockade and colonialism practiced by Israel, the occupying power,” Al-Ramah told delegates.
The UN’s CSW gathering brings together some 6,000 envoys, campaigners, and activists for the world’s largest annual events on making life better for women and girls, particularly those in developing countries.


Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.

 

GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”