Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session
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Updated 18 November 2020

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri shares what her ideal society looks like at G20 session

RIYADH: At the International Media Center in Riyadh during the week of the G20 Leaders Summit and before the extraordinary summit that will be held on the 21 and 22 of November, Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri, head of the Women’s Empowerment Team, led a media briefing where she shared with Arab News what her ideal society would look like.

“An ideal society is one that enables women who want to progress in their careers to reach leadership positions, and also provides all women with equal opportunities and equal access to services, even if they are not working” she said.

Al-Tuwaijri mentioned how accommodating women in the workplace was an issue that was discussed and raised during the Saudi presidency of the G20, and that it was directly related to unpaid care work.

She said that the concept that women are the primary caregivers in their families was unhelpful, as “during the pandemic women found themselves doing almost all of the care work and sometimes schoolwork for their children, and yet still having to pursue their careers.

“It’s an issue we’ve been addressing even before the pandemic. And that’s why, for example, on a national level, we have initiatives that support women in that respect … supporting women with childcare subsidies, like the Qurra initiative,” She said. “Allowing women to have access to these services will lead to more participation of women and understanding that this is a necessity for women.”

During a roundtable discussion about “Women’s empowerment as a key enabler for economic recovery,” Chiara Corazza, managing director of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society, said that women need to be able to take on the discussion about climate change, and how to drive finance. “We want to construct this world we are not there to empower women it’s the world that needs us this is the paradigm,” she said.

“The world needs us (women) in climate change, in business, in AI, and health … in all the main issues of daily life.”

She said that this was her message and she insisted on involving women in science “because otherwise, if we don’t have those with the right competence, the right capacities, we won’t be able to be heard.”

Regarding fixing the system, the G20 Women20 Sherpa Salma Al-Rashid mentioned that women already have the skills to fix the system. “It’s for the betterment of everyone in the whole community when women are equal participants,” she said.

Speaking of the priorities that were put forward by the Saudi presidency at the beginning of this year, Al-Tuwaijri mentioned that they were looking at realizing the full potential of the world’s population.

“We had a set of priorities that started with the G20 Brisbane Goal (in 2014). Then closing the gap in labor participation. All of that was a plan, a roadmap for us to guarantee that when we talk about realizing opportunities for all.”

She said that when the pandemic happened during the presidency of Saudi Arabia, it forced them to take certain detours and cling to the previous achievements “just to make sure that we don’t lose them, amidst this pandemic. And that’s why we were very grateful that the G20 Brisbane Goal made major progress so that we know how the pandemic will affect the inclusion of women.”


Qatar’s emir arrives in Saudi Arabia on official visit

Qatar’s emir arrives in Saudi Arabia on official visit
Updated 11 min 15 sec ago

Qatar’s emir arrives in Saudi Arabia on official visit

Qatar’s emir arrives in Saudi Arabia on official visit

JEDDAH: Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Monday, where he was received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The emir received an invitation from King Salman to visit the Kingdom end of last month, which was hand delivered by Foreign Minster Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Developing...


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Kuwait emir for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Kuwait emir for Eid Al-Fitr
Updated 44 min 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Kuwait emir for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Kuwait emir for Eid Al-Fitr

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call on Monday from Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to extend greetings on the advent of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
The king reciprocated the sentiments, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Eid Al-Fitr, or Festival of Breaking the Fast, is celebrated by Muslims all over the world following the fasting month of Ramadan.


Turkish foreign minister visits Saudi Arabia in move to mend ties

Turkish foreign minister visits Saudi Arabia in move to mend ties
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (AFP)
Updated 43 min 46 sec ago

Turkish foreign minister visits Saudi Arabia in move to mend ties

Turkish foreign minister visits Saudi Arabia in move to mend ties
  • Turkey’s policy shift was driven by its desire for more investment and trade opportunities, its realization of the limits of unilateralism and desire to hedge against its increasingly erratic relationships with great powers

ANKARA: Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu began an official two-day visit to the Kingdom on Monday in a bid to improve relations seriously undermined since 2018 by the Jamal Khashoggi case.

The visit followed a recent phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on May 4.

In a Reuters interview last month, presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey, trying to bring about a positive agenda and a change of discourse regarding the Kingdom, respects the outcome of the Saudi trial about the journalist’s killing.

During the visit, bilateral relations, trade and regional issues, including Libya, are expected to be discussed, especially during Cavusoglu’s meeting with Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud.

“Since the fall of 2020, Turkey has been concertedly working to repair its relationships with regional powers in the Middle East,” Samuel Ramani, a Middle East expert at the University of Oxford, told Arab News.

“Turkey’s policy shift was driven by its desire for more investment and trade opportunities, its realization of the limits of unilateralism and desire to hedge against its increasingly erratic relationships with great powers, such as Russia, the United States, Europe and China,” he said.

The recent decision by Saudi Arabia to close eight out of 26 Turkish schools by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year drew anger from Ankara, which claimed that 2,256 Turkish students would face challenges in education elsewhere as they are not fluent in Arabic.

Ankara will also raise the issue of lifting the Saudi unofficial boycott of Turkish goods since 2019, which has resulted in a significant fall in Turkish exports to the Kingdom.

Experts consider this decision a signal that Saudi Arabia has some prerequisites for launching normalization with Turkey, particularly on its policies toward the Arab world — especially ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and its military presence in Libya, Somalia, Qatar, Iraq and Syria.

In the meantime, Turkish exporters have allegedly removed “Made in Turkey” tags on their products to bypass the blockade.

Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia dropped by 94 percent year-on-year and stood at about $75 million in the first three months of this year, while during the same period imports from Saudi Arabia rose from $430 million to some $600 million.

Cavusoglu will also pay a visit to Egypt after his meeting in the Kingdom to normalize ties with another regional actor after a long period of enmity.

“Turkey has reached out to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and even the UAE to de-escalate tensions. These outcomes have had mixed results, as these powers still remain on opposite sides of the Eastern Mediterranean dispute, but Turkey has succeeded in de-escalating tensions with Egypt on Libya and this is seen in Ankara as an encouraging sign that could be replicated in Saudi Arabia,” Ramani said.

According to Ramani, the main issues that Saudi Arabia and Turkey will discuss are regional ones.

“The first is the eastern Mediterranean, but Saudi Arabia won’t budge from its alignment with Greece or accept Turkey’s 2019 energy deal with Libya. The second is Israel-Palestine, where both Turkey and Saudi Arabia will likely criticize Israel’s recent conduct in Al-Aqsa,” he said.

Experts note that this latest normalization drive by Turkey with the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries may be linked to an adjustment strategy with the new Biden administration in the US.

Galip Dalay, CATS fellow at SWP and non-resident fellow at Brookings Doha, expects a partial normalization of relations between Ankara and Riyadh.

“There is no meaningful conflict of interest between the parties and they are likely to take steps to partially de-escalate the tensions in the medium term,” he told Arab News.

“During the Arab Spring, Turkey and the Kingdom had ideological divergences as they took opposing sides. But they did not have any significant conflict in geopolitical terms. Turkey even supported to a certain extent Saudi Arabia’s policy choices in Yemen. However, with the Qatar crisis and Khashoggi case, the tensions escalated,” Dalay said.

Dalay anticipates rising tension between Turkey and Iran as they clash on geopolitical interests.

“Therefore Turkey wants to mend ties with the Arab camp to consolidate its position and adjust to the new reality in the region,” he said.


Saudi Arabia records 13 COVID-19 deaths, 986 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 13 COVID-19 deaths, 986 new cases
Updated 10 May 2021

Saudi Arabia records 13 COVID-19 deaths, 986 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 13 COVID-19 deaths, 986 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,076 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 14 mosques temporarily closed after 14 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 13 new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,085.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 986 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 427,370 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 9,469 remain active and 1,341 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 339, followed by Makkah with 283, the Eastern Province with 131, Asir recorded 52 and Madinah confirmed 50 cases.

The health ministry also announced that 1,076 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 410,816.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed 14 mosques in seven regions after 14 people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,121 within 93 days, 1,098 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 159 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.31 million.

 


Saudi Arabia introduces 7-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors

Saudi Arabia introduces 7-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors
Updated 50 min 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia introduces 7-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors

Saudi Arabia introduces 7-day quarantine for unvaccinated visitors

RIYADH: All non-citizens arriving in Saudi Arabia who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 must quarantine for a minimum of seven days, the interior ministry said on Monday.
The measures will come into force on May 20. People from a list of countries currently banned from traveling to the Kingdom will still not be allowed to visit.
Unvaccinated visitors to the Kingdom will also have to present a valid health insurance document approved by Saudi authorities to cover the risks of the coronavirus.
Some groups will be exempt from the quarantine upon arrival in the country, provided they apply precautionary measures approved by the Ministry of Health. They include:

  • Citizens, their spouses and children, along with domestic workers accompanying them
  • Unvaccinated domestic workers accompanying a vaccinated resident
  • Immunized travelers
  • Official delegations
  • Individuals carrying a diplomatic visa, diplomats and their families residing with them
  • Airline, sea crews, and truck drivers and their assistants
  • Individuals involved in health supply chains

The Public Health Authority (Weqaya) said quarantine would apply for those who had received the approved vaccine doses less than 14 days before their arrival in the Kingdom.
For those in quarantine, a PCR test must be taken on the first and seventh day from arrival.
Visitors who have been vaccinated will be required to submit a PCR test certificate within 72 hours of leaving for the Kingdom. Children aged eight and under are exempt.
The quarantine will be at the travelers expense and will be included in the price of the air ticket.
GACA said air carriers were obliged to work with hotels approved by the Ministry of Tourism to accommodate the quarantined visitors.