Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

A session on "Approaching Challenges from Different Perspective" of the T20 Inception Conference in Riyadh. (AN photo/Rashid Hassan)
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Updated 21 January 2020

Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

  • The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development

RIYADH: Reducing the gender gap in labor participation is a moral imperative as well as a key for growth and sustainable development, which is why G20 countries have committed to reduce the gap in women’s labor participation 25 percent by 2025.

Speaking at a session called “Approaching challenges from different perspectives” on the concluding day of the T20 Inception Conference in Riyadh on Monday, Thoraya Obaid, chair of the W20 engagement group, said: “The G20 countries have committed to increasing women’s participation 25 percent by 2025. We in the Kingdom have also adopted this in our Saudi Vision 2030 Program.”

The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed of the C20 engagement group highlighted the importance of civil society taking commitments and promises seriously, and fulfilling its promises with implementation and accountability.

“Civil Society is our heart and soul, we are the people on the ground, and provide support to reach our goals,” she said.

“Together with other engagement groups, we have all adopted a joint statement to work in the pursuit of specific objectives. I think where we can make it big collectively is on the climate issue.”

Othman Al-Moamar, of Y20 engagement group, said: “Young people are the most important component in today’s technology driven world, therefore more young people in entrepreneurship means more prosperity, and opportunities.”

Highlighting their role, Nasser Al-Jaryad of L20 engagement group said: “Our aim is empowering people, guaranteeing minimum living wages and collective bargaining, promoting social dialogue for social cohesion, and ending corporate monopolies.

“We also take all possible actions to improve the progressiveness of taxation system,” he added.

Abdulmohsen Al-Ghanam of U20 engagement group said their themes represented common challenges and aspirations of global cities.

The session was moderated by Abdullah Al-Saud, member of the T20 steering committee and director of research at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 26 May 2020

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.