The speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday, presented broad prospects for Saudi women, who were encouraged by the country’s continued efforts to empower them and increase their participation in the public and private sectors.
“We note with great pride the rise in women’s participation rate from 19.4 percent at the end of 2017 to 23.2 percent at the end of the second half of 2019,” the King said.
Dr. Samia Bukhari, a member of the Saudi Shura Council, commented by telling Asharq Al-Awsat: “The speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques reflects the leadership’s keenness to empower women and support them…This makes us feel a lot of pride.”
The speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques comes as a reflection of the reform package and initiatives pertaining to the enhancement of the role of Saudi women in national development, which had a positive impact in less than two years on the lives of Saudi women.
Relevant government agencies have implemented amendments to travel, civil status, labor, and social security regulations.
At the social level, the travel documents system was amended, which gave women the possibility to obtain personal passports and passports of custodians without the need for prior approvals, in addition to the possibility of traveling abroad for those aged 21 and above.
In order to enhance the role of women in the labor market and the development of the economy, labor regulations have been reviewed, including the standardization of wages and employment procedures for women and men.
It is noteworthy that these amendments, which were approved during the current year, complement the many reforms that Saudi Arabia has been able to implement in less than two years, including “allowing women to drive, the adoption of anti-harassment system, and enabling women to establish and run businesses without prior approval.”