Pharmacy chain says ‘no’ to hiring women

Updated 16 February 2013

Pharmacy chain says ‘no’ to hiring women

A Minister of Labor official said on Wednesday the ministry made no plans to allow women to seek employment in Saudi pharmacies.
Even if the Labor Ministry eventually issues an edict to give female pharmacists jobs in commercial establishments, Al-Nahdi group said, it will conduct no such hiring.
“In general, not many Saudis are keen to work for commercial pharmacies,” Housm Al-Qurashi, marketing vice-president of Al-Nahdi group, said. “The salary that companies are offering to pharmacists is low compared to the salaries that Saudi pharmacists receive in pharmacies at government hospitals.”
A Labor Ministry source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Arab News the ministry issued no decree despite numerous media accounts to the contrary.
“I read such news in the media, but the issue had never been discussed at the ministry,” he said.
There are female pharmacists in the Kingdom working mostly in government pharmacies. There are an estimated 7,000 pharmacies across the Kingdom.
Demand for pharmacists is high. Saudi pharmacists prefer to work for big governmental hospitals, aiming to get a high salary and a better position, Al-Qurashi said.
“In our company we don’t have Saudi men or women working as pharmacists,” he said. “We do have Saudis pharmacists who work as CSR managers, accounting managers, and many other leading positions.” He added: “Before we can hire Saudi female pharmacists, we would have to add private toilets and partitions to the building, and provide security staff. It is really difficult to allow women to work in commercial pharmacies. Many are located in underdeveloped areas where it is impossible for women to work.”
Some female Saudi pharmacists say that working in commercial pharmacies is not desirable.
“I graduated from King Abdulaziz University two years ago. It was impossible for me to find a job in a governmental hospital,” said Hala Al-Youssef. “I found several job opportunities in private hospitals for a salary of SR 3,000. At that time I refused to work for these hospitals as their salaries were too low.”
She said governmental hospitals hire Saudis in the second position immediately with salaries between SR 7,000 to SR 10,000. A Saudi pharmacist also often gets promoted to a senior position within one year.
Nadin Nasser, a Saudi pharmacist, who works for a governmental hospital, said that opening up opportunities for Saudi women to work in commercial pharmacies would be a positive step.
“In government hospitals, pharmacists suffer from working in a crowded area,” Nasser said. “They have to prepare and sometimes make the medications. Such tasks are difficult, especially for pharmacists who don’t want to work hard. Working in commercial pharmacies is easier for pharmacists. The working hours are long, but the job is all about selling medications to the patient.”


Saudi Education Ministry launches training program

Updated 5 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Education Ministry launches training program

  • The five-day program is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies

RIYADH: The Saudi Education Ministry has launched a training program titled “Effective reform foundations for education policies: Research and policymaking,” presented by the Education Policy Research Center in cooperation with the World Bank. 
The five-day program, taking place on Dec. 9-13, is aimed at people interested in research and studies on education policies.
The program’s topics include managing an effective education system, supporting teachers, promoting concepts and means to finance education, building foundations for early childhood education, and strengthening students’ evaluation and curriculums. 
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Bidyawi, the ministry’s undersecretary for planning and development, inaugurated the program.
He said it aims to introduce trainees to the most important issues of education policies to qualify them as researchers in the field, thus contributing to building capacities in the field of improving educational policies and decision-making.
He also shed light on the partnership between the ministry and the World Bank, which aims to implement programs to develop the education system in line with the Saudi leadership’s aspirations and ambitions.