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World Bank Group: Saudi Arabia Advances in ‘Women, Business, and Law’

World Bank Group: Saudi Arabia Advances in ‘Women, Business, and Law’

Thursday, 25 February, 2021 - 11:00
Saudi women at work. Reuters file photo

Saudi Arabia continues to make notable progress for the second year in a row in women’s economic opportunities, according to a World Bank Group’s Report.

The report “Women, Business, and Law 2021” compares levels of discrimination between genders in the field of economic development and entrepreneurship in 190 countries.

It revealed that Saudi Arabia scored 80 points out of 100, up from the 70.6 achieved in 2020, to become among the leading countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The Kingdom’s progress confirms the strength of legislative laws and regulation reforms on women implemented last year. It also achieved gender equality in all areas of employment to meet the needs of the labor market.

Saudi Arabia's notable performance included the top score in five of the eight main indicators measured by the report, namely mobility, pension, entrepreneurship, workplace, and pay while it maintained its score in the other three: marriage, parenthood, and assets.

These results place the Kingdom in the ranks of advanced economies known for women’s legal reforms.

Commerce Minister Majid al-Qasabi affirmed that this achievement is the result of the leadership's efforts, especially Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to implement the reforms and ensure swift results.

Qasabi, who also chairs the National Competitiveness Center, pointed out that the efforts made by state agencies have contributed to the implementation of legislative reforms aimed at enhancing the role of women in economic development and raising the Kingdom’s competitiveness regionally and globally.

He stressed that Vision 2030 contributed to supporting the implementation of the reforms, which stresses the importance of increasing women’s participation in the labor market from 22 to 30 percent.

The new reforms relate to enhancing women's role in economic development, most notably gender equality in obtaining financing services, establishing and practicing commercial work, equality in retirement age, equality in wages and job opportunities, preventing work termination of women during pregnancy, and ensuring continued payment of salaries during maternity leave.

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