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Preventing Saudi women from late night work will create more jobs

7 March 17

Saudi Gazette

The current efforts being made by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to formulate a system under which women will not be allowed to work late in the night is expected to raise the number of the working women from 500,000 now to about 750,000 in two years, according to market sources.

Abid Al-Aqqad, head of the department of job nationalization at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said Saudi women have made a quantitative leap in the labor market during the past six years.

He said in 2011, there were about 120,000 working Saudi women but their number has now crossed half a million.

Aqqad believes that the Nitaqat program and the feminization of work in the lingerie and women dress shops have boosted the number of the working Saudi women.

He said the common problems facing the working Saudi women include, among others, the long working hours, coming back to the work in the evenings and the lack of transport.

“The efforts being made by the ministry to solve the issue of transport in Riyadh and Jeddah are good indicators that this problem may be solved soon,” he said.

He said the solution of the transport problem is an important step which will entice a large number of women to seek jobs.

Aqqad said the establishment of nurseries in the work places may be an additional drive for Saudi women to seek jobs especially in the light of the present high living costs.

He recalled that the labor law makes it imperative on the employers to provide conducive atmosphere for the women to work and to establish nurseries for their children but said this has not been strictly observed by a large number of employers.

Aisha Natto, a Saudi businesswoman, said the nationalization of the feminine jobs is a necessary element in the Kingdom›s 2030 Vision which aims at increasing the contribution of women in the labor market from the present 22 percent to 30 percent.

She called for making a better use of the Saudi women graduates of the scholarship program and said we must have confidence in them and we must remove all the obstacles facing their employment.

Natto called for increasing salaries of women so as to be able top cope up with the high living costs and asked new female graduates to enroll in integrated rehabilitation programs to improve their skills in the English language, the computer, the work ethics and communications.

“A number of Saudi women job seekers lack in these areas which are needed by the labor market,” she added.
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