Women’s Day Special !!! The Ministry of Labor & Social Development seeks to achieve the objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 based on Saudi Vision 2030. Part of this effort is ensuring women have a place in the workforce. This is a major change in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Vision 2030 relies on three main factors – a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. This provides opportunities for people to utilize their talents in ways that benefit the society as a whole.
There is no longer any significant gap in access to education and healthcare between girls and boys. The World Bank reports that there are more women than men currently enrolled in universities. In late 2017, women were given driving privileges and eantrance to watch sporting events in the country’s 3 main sports venues. This is intended to help foster expansion of the entertainment industry, another component of Saudi Vision 2030.
While Saudi Arabia remains a till operates a male guardianship system in which females must gain permission to travel or speak with members of the opposite sex. However, 73% of employed women said they were either “extremely comfortable” or “comfortable to some extent.” As a result, women in private sector jobs has increased 130 percent between 2012 and 2016. Many women report high levels of joy and satisfaction in their work.
Overall, women still just make up 22% of the Saudi workforce. Saudi Vision 2030 aims to increase that to 30%. The efforts to reduce dependence on the oil industry should help to foster that growth.
The vision states, “The nation we aspire to build will not be realized without a grand, collective national effort where everyone contributes.” It further states, “We aspire to have businesses that contribute to developing our society and our country, not be geared solely towards generating profits. We expect our companies to observe their social responsibilities and contribute to creating a sustainable economy, including by creating the stimulating opportunities for young men and women that can help them build their professional careers.” Once again, we see the inclusion of women in the building of the vision.
Another goal in the vision is to increase household savings from 6% to 10% of total household income. The inclusion of women in the workforce obviously increases a household’s income, which can be used to move toward that savings target as well as meeting expenses.
MLSD is committed to moving Saudi Arabia to reaching the goals in Saudi Vision 2030, and recognizes the essential role that women will play in accomplishing the objectives by continuing to expand their presence in the workforce.