RIYADH: The empowerment of women in the Saudi labor market is accelerating with the ambitious goal of increasing women’s contribution to the Kingdom’s overall economy to 28%.
The Shoura Council has enacted a number of laws and proposed amendments to other regulations to protect women’s rights, including initiatives to reduce unemployment, as well as increase the representation of women in government positions. authority and decision-making.
Legislative efforts should expand employment opportunities, paving the way for women to work in different sectors.
The aim is also to increase women’s participation in the labor force from 22% to 30% by 2030, as well as to strengthen women’s economic participation by encouraging remote and flexible working.
Other goals include leadership advice for female executives, childcare support programs, training to help women meet the demands of the job market, and improved job creation mechanisms.
Hala Al-Tuwaijri, secretary general of the Family Affairs Council, told Arab News that “accurate indicators” based on labor market data will help women’s economic empowerment and improve productivity.
The Kingdom has increased women’s participation in the labor market as part of its Vision 2030 reform goals, she said.
The legislative changes also have a positive impact on the Kingdom’s international indicators, and “it supports the continuation of resolutions, the launching of programs and future plans and solutions to support the empowerment of women to access opportunities and services”.
She said empowering women economically will boost productivity and contribute to greater economic diversification and income equity, as well as positive development outcomes and growth in gross domestic product.
Businesses and institutions benefit from increased job opportunities and women’s access to leadership positions, which improves organizational efficiency. As a result, according to Al-Tuwaijri, the Kingdom has given special attention to the strong and active participation of women in social and economic development.
She said an integrated system for empowering women in the labor market should be put in place. Economic progress and encouraging women to enter the labor market can help balance women’s lives and strengthen their role in the family.
“A family-friendly work environment should be created through, but not limited to, various work policies and models such as flexible work policies, part-time work, granting loans on beneficial to women entrepreneurs,” said Al-Tuwaijri.
“It is important to support policies, programs and initiatives that help women meet the challenges of the labor market and that are provided by the Kingdom to facilitate women’s access and promote their entry into the labor market.
Other experts also shared their views on women entering the labor market in Saudi Arabia.
Gareebah Al-Twaiher, supervisor of the department of female students of the Arab Colleges of the East, said that the government resolutions in favor of women have enabled them to become an effective actor and partner in the comprehensive and sustainable development of the region.
These resolutions see women as strategic partners in driving a comprehensive and sustainable economy across the country, she added.
Al-Twaiher, who also chairs the Future Women Society, said: “The indicators are an important scientific tool for monitoring women’s participation in development and measuring progress towards the goals of Vision 2030, and the Kingdom’s overall trends towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals related to women, which will have a positive impact on the economic empowerment of women to participate in regional development.
She said that for policy makers and market makers, “accurate indicators” based on labor market data are essential.
“It helps to diagnose challenges and assess the current situation by understanding the structure of the current market, understanding the demographics of the labor market, identifying the main indicators of the market, in general, and of women in particular, and contributing to the rise of the Kingdom progress in global indicators, thus supporting and strengthening efforts to improve the mental image of Saudi women.
Al-Twaiher, who recently completed a joint study on “The impact of artificial intelligence and automation on future jobs in Saudi Arabia”, stressed the importance of “carefully selecting qualified people and enable women to develop their skills for future jobs by providing incentives that encourage them, improve their technical abilities and increase their share in leadership positions.
Saudi journalist Sukina Bu Haliqa believes that the presence of women in the labor market has been modest and limited to roles such as receptionists, cashiers and sales assistants, “but we have not seen women in managerial or managerial positions. ‘other management positions’.
She hopes women’s participation rate in the labor market will increase, but said it “takes a lot to get there”.
Bu Haliqa added that women’s independence in obtaining employment, including the ability to drive and choose to work, will have many implications for the national economy.
Independence will help women to work in schools, nurseries and restaurants, for example, and to increase their purchasing power, the demand for basic services and the consumption of fuel and perfumes, for example, which have all have an impact on local economies.
Huda Al-Rasheedy, a scholar of scientific research, said the empowerment of Saudi women has accelerated thanks to legislation aimed at strengthening their position in society.
“They have become an effective partner in national development in all areas: economic, social, scientific, cultural and others. Many decisions have been made that demonstrate the leaders’ trust in women and support their efforts to hold leadership positions.
According to Al-Rasheedy, author of “Innovation in Universities”, women are a major component of the Kingdom’s human capital and constitute a significant part of the economic value of human resources.
“Their integration and cohesion, as well as the effective investment of their skills and capacities, are the basis of the demographic reconfiguration that leads to growth.
“The economy, together with the belief in the central role of women as the cornerstone of the development process and a thriving economy, has provided the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 with an excellent opportunity for their participation and the improvement of their value in society,” she said.