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Saudi women rising up in industry

17,000 Saudi women work in industrial cities, more than double the 7,860 at end of 2018

Abu Dhabi: The number of Saudi women working in industrial cities supervised by the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) increased by 120 per cent to 17,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2020, compared to 7,860 at the end of 2018, an increase of 9,140 over 15 months, local media reported.

Next year will witness launching of small prefabricated factories with areas of 200 square metres each, to enable women’s investments as a first experience in the Kingdom, in the first Dammam industrial city.

Empowering women

Engineer Khaled Al Salem, MODON director general, said the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones has come a long way and is still working to further empower women in the industrial sector.

MODON will hold a virtual conference entitled “Women in Industry 2020,” under the patronage of the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Al Kharif, on December 21-22.

Al Salem said MODON continues to empower women in the industrial sector, whether as workers or investors, through the creation of an ideal environment in partnership with the public and private sectors, pointing that the central sector, which includes 12 industrial cities, has about 11,750 employees, while 3500 employees work in the western sector, which includes 13 industrial cities, and 1,750 employees in the eastern sector, which includes 10 industrial cities.

Saudi women are expected to play a vital role in the Kingdom’s development strategy, Vision 2030. The number of Saudi women holding managerial positions has increased during the past decade, with the Kingdom recently enacting new reforms toward improving on its record of female empowerment and gender equality.

The World Bank report “Women, Business, and the Law 2020” recognised Saudi Arabia as the top reformer globally in the last year.

Saudi Arabia implemented historic reforms to advance women’s economic participation. The measures introduced freedom of travel and movement for women over the age of 21.

The decrees removed restrictions on women’s ability to leave the house and equalized women’s right to choose a place of residency. They prohibited discrimination based on gender in employment, the dismissal of pregnant women and discrimination based on gender in accessing to credit. The decrees introduced pension equality by equalising the retirement ages for men and women and mandating pension care credits for maternity leave.



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