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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
GENEVA — Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to provide jobs for around one million Saudi women by the year 2030, according to Mishaal Al-Balawi, an official at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Geneva.
He underscored the importance of the role of women in strengthening the Kingdom’s economy, saying that women enjoy protection and empowerment with access to a large share of reforms and developments witnessed by the Kingdom, especially in the employment market.
Al-Balawi, head of the human rights division at the Kingdom’s mission, made the remarks while attending the discussion on a report of the working group on the issue of discrimination against women at the Human Rights Council on Monday. The discussion mainly focused on women’s rights in the changing global employment scenario.
He said that the Kingdom has taken several measures aimed at empowering women and enhancing their equality with men in the light of the provisions of Islamic Shariah. “The Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 have put women empowerment among their most important priorities. The Kingdom has banned discrimination against women in jobs, and ensured equalization of women with men in their wages, and enhanced awareness about the importance of women’s participation in the employment market.”
Al-Balawi also highlighted the emphasis given in the Kingdom’s Vision to end the structural patterns in the work of women and men. “The Kingdom seeks to encourage women to study various disciplines, especially science, technology, mathematics, and engineering as this provides a variety of opportunities for them in the labor market,” he said while drawing attention to the recent royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to appoint 13 women to the Human Rights Commission Council, representing half of its members. “This is a continuation of what the Kingdom’s government is doing to empower women to occupy key positions,” he pointed out.
Al-Balawi said that Saudi Arabia is exerting all efforts to put an end to violence and harassment against women at their workplaces. “The Kingdom, through its regulations and agencies, is striving to address the phenomenon of violence against women at their workplaces as well as to enable them to work in a safe environment. This is through enacting laws to protect women and preserve their rights, such as the Anti-Harassment Law and the Law of Protection from Abuse,” he added.
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