JEDDAH: The second leg of National Dialogues on Saudi Women promoted the inclusion of gender equality and economic empowerment for women in policies and decisions made by G20 leaders.
This came in conjunction with Al-Nahda Foundation becoming president of Saudi Arabia 2020 Women (W20), an official G20 initiative.
Speeches and discussions focused on technical and economic promotion of women, inclusion in work and leadership positions and empowering more women to be entrepreneurs.
“This will help the Kingdom advance. Whether in health advancement, women’s empowerment and cybersecurity, these discussions will help generations to come,” said Princess Lulwah Al-Faisal, vice chair of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University during her welcoming speech.
She emphasized the importance of cooperating with countries that are less fortunate and exchanging knowledge and resources.
W20 chair, Thoraya Obaid, guided the audience through a rundown of what W20 means and how the team behind it has worked to make it meaningful and unique.
“The W20 will focus on four pillars: Financial inclusion, how to get into the financial field and facilities that are already helping women, and technical inclusion, to make sure women are part of producing technology, not just using it. It will also focus on inclusion in labor,” said Obaid.
The fourth and final pillar, she explained, is usually chosen by the hosting county, through analyzing past G20 data, going through various reports relating to women’s issues, and delegations with organizations like the UN and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“Finally, we chose inclusion in decision-making: Not only to reach leadership positions, but also making those decisions,” she said.
As for the G20, Obaid said that the Kingdom specifically chose to focus on human empowerment for youth and women, preserving the earth and new horizons.
During the first panel discussion, Hind Al-Zahid, undersecretary for women’s empowerment at the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, said that the share of women in leadership positions has gone up from 1.6 percent to 2.3 percent.
She added that the ministry is aiming to reach 5 percent by the end of 2020.
Al-Zahid announced that by March 8, on International Women’s Day, the ministry will be launching an initiative called Qiyadiyat (Female Leaders), acting as the first ever platform for women in leadership positions to network.