Saudi women ‘partners in the country’s future’

The naming of Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan as Saudi ambassador to the US is an example of the confidence the Saudi leadership has placed in women’s capacities. (SPA)
Updated 29 April 2019

Saudi women ‘partners in the country’s future’

RIYADH: Ambitious Saudi women are making giant strides in line with social changes in the Kingdom as they overcome challenges and obstacles to become partners in building the country’s future.
If 2017 was the “year of empowering Saudi women,” reforms in 2018 aimed at breaking down gender barriers were even more dramatic, with a ban on women driving overturned and the introduction of anti-harassment laws.
Female students were also allowed to take part in school sports, families were permitted to attend football games and Saudi women were encouraged to compete in the Olympic Games. High-flying women were granted licenses to pilot airplanes for the first time in the Kingdom’s history. And in 2019, the Kingdom appointed its first female ambassador.
On the international scene, Saudi women’s competencies were acknowledged in 2001 with the appointment of Thoraya Obaid — the first Saudi woman to graduate from a US university on a government scholarship — as executive director of the UN Population Fund.
The naming of Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan as Saudi ambassador to the US is an example of the confidence the Saudi leadership has placed in women’s capacities in all forums in light of the social, economic, political and cultural empowerment of Saudi women.
In the health field Dr. Samar Al-Homoud, a consultant surgeon at King Faisal Specialized Hospital and the Research Center, was honored by King Salman this year, receiving the King Abdul Aziz Medal (First Class) at the National Festival of Heritage and Culture (Janadriya)
Meanwhile, Dr. Khawla Al-Kuraya, senior cancer research scientist at King Faisal Specialized Hospital, is currently directing the King Fahd National Center for Children’s Cancer and Research, which operates under King Faisal Specialized Hospital and the Research Center in Riyadh.
In the field of science, researcher Fatoun Sayegh has completed a PhD in applicable fungi technology at the University of Liverpool in the UK and is head of the natural marine products unit at King Fahd Research Center.
Researcher Hayat Sindy became the first Arab woman to get a PhD in biological technology from the University of Cambridge. Her many inventions includes a probe that determines the effects of medications on the human body, helping astronauts to monitor their blood sugar and blood pressure levels. She also has carried out research projects in environmental protection and the measurement of toxic gases.
In military and security field, medals have been awarded to women affiliates of the Ministry of Defense, who took part in Operation Decisive Storm and Operation Restoring Hope. Mai Abulsaud, Hind Obeid Al-Qathami, and Nora Abdulrahman Al-Nueiser received the King Fahd Medal (Third Class).
In the arts, Saudi women such as film directors Haifaa Mansour and Hind Al-Fahad made their mark in international festivals.
Many names emerged in the field of literature and poetry, including Omayma Al-Khamis and Sara Al-Khathlan.
In engineering, Saudi engineer Reema bint Sultan bin Rabea is working in the underground metro project, the Kingdom’s largest public transport scheme.
The economic and financial sector has also hired remarkable women, such as Iman bint Habbas Al-Mutairi, assistant to the minister of commerce and investment; Khuloud Al-Dakhil, head of the statistics committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers; Sara Al-Suhaimi, the first Saudi woman to be appointed head of the Tadawul board; and Rania Nashar, CEO of Samba Financial Group.

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.