E-commerce creates more opportunities for Saudi women

Updated 17 January 2016

E-commerce creates more opportunities for Saudi women

ABHA: Many economists stress the importance of electronic markets in Saudi Arabia, their financial mega-returns and the availability of jobs for young businesswomen.
A number of economists and businesswomen believe these markets still need organization and codification of their work. They have also revealed that Saudi women are strongly present in these markets, and have achieved success, stressing the need to support the work of Saudi women in this electronic sector.
Chairperson of Fashion Design in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Oumayma Azzouz, revealed that the use of electronic technology is a clear indication of the economic success, considering that women's work in this context is one of the most important opportunities that enhances women’s income sources.
Azzouz said: "My interest in the practical aspects and my continuous travels between Arab and European capitals to display my new lines have contributed to the delay in my joining the online marketplace or marketing via social media, but I learned in the last two years the importance of e-marketing, and have established my website to showcases my latest lines and all my news.”
Azzouz suggested that the electronic market will witness major developments in the coming years, and will have great returns.
Businesswoman and member of the young businesswomen’s council, Reem Al-Rowaisan, confirmed that there is an increasingly high turnout of Saudi businesswomen engaging in electronic markets.
She pointed out that they encourage the employment of women in electronic markets through the Executive Council of the Young Businesswomen, where they work on motivating young women to create jobs rather than request them, in addition to the adoption, encouragement and support of projects with new and innovative ideas, such as smartphone applications or electronic marketing in general.
Lina Al-Amoudi, a businesswoman and human resources specialist, stressed that Saudi businesswomen have given themselves a strong and stable imprint in the world of social networking sites and electronic markets, and have become pioneers for their counterparts in the Arabian Gulf in spreading commercial culture in smart ways that attract the recipient to understand the desired message.
"Saudi women are open and receptive to everything new, so it was not difficult for them to go into the trade experience through electronic markets, where the electronic technology and modern means facilitated their way to market themselves as businesswomen, and also opened international doors for them where they excelled through presenting services and products in which they invest."
Writer and businesswoman Sahar Zain Al-Deen emphasized the importance of the role of chambers of commerce in supporting young businesswomen, and the role of chambers in supporting the e-commerce market and women’s business, and training them to hone their experiences, saying that the chamber creates trained and qualified women to work in the electronic market.
Reem Asaad, an economic writer, argues that trade through electronic markets economically benefits the parties of infrastructure, such the merchant who benefits through the sale of his goods, and the young people who work on process of transporting goods from the electronic market dealers to buyers.

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”