Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Women in Saudi Arabia enjoy pioneering empowerment and support from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman, Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri said while delivering a speech at the International Conference on Women in Islam: Status and Empowerment.
Dr. Al-Tuwaijri, who is the head of Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the International Conference on Women in Islam held by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and hosted by the Kingdom in Jeddah, said that these advantages that women enjoy in the Kingdom have contributed to their attaining many local, regional and international achievements.
This empowerment comes as an embodiment of the wise Saudi leadership’s interest in the role of women in society, and in implementation of the tolerant principles of Islamic Shariah that has strengthened the role of women in various fields.
During her speech, Dr. Al-Tuwaijri confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s hosting of this conference, within the framework of OIC, is considered as confirmation for their keenness to highlight the excellence of Islam in the field of women’s rights, as Islamic Shariah called for the care and protection of women and the guarantee of their rights.
The Islamic Shariah has strengthened and supported the human being and preserved his dignity, including empowering women, who are the basic pillar of the family, and ensuring their effective participation in their society.
Dr. Al-Tuwaijri highlighted the efforts made by Saudi Arabia within the framework of empowering Saudi women in a way that enhances their role in the comprehensive development witnessed by all sectors, and to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Among the efforts, the Kingdom carried out more than 50 legislative and executive reforms in various fields, which contributed to developing the legal framework to promote and protect women’s rights and empowerment, and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.
These reforms resulted in many achievements, such as an increase in the share of women in the labor market during the 5-year period from 2017 to 2022. It witnessed a surge from 21.2% to 34.7%. The rate of women’s economic participation during the same period also recorded an increase from 17% to 37%.
As for the percentage of Saudi women in the civil service, it reached 42% of the total employees by the end of the Q3 in 2022, while 20% of the seats in the Shoura Council were allocated to women representatives.
The president said that the percentage of women in administrative positions in Saudi Arabia reached 28.6% in 2017, while it reached 41.1% in 2022, noting that the share of women-owned small and medium enterprises reached 22.5% in 2017, and 45% in 2022.
As for the communications and information technology sector, the participation rate reached 7% in 2017, and 30.5% in 2022, Dr. Al-Tuwaijri said.
She added that the Kingdom witnessed an increase in the percentage of Saudi women owning commercial records, accounting for 40% of the commercial records of existing institutions.
The HRC president said that women now can hold positions in the judiciary, security and the military, and they are equal to men as members of the Public Prosecution where there are 200 women. A total of 282 women work as administrative staff, 238 are trainees, 8,377 are in security and military agencies, and 9,976 in the Ministry of Interior and its affiliated sectors.
“Women today are facing a number of challenges in order to practice their rights guaranteed to them by Islam, including being deprived of some of their rights in some societies, Islamophobia, and the spread of hate speech,” she pointed out.
The president also touched on what patient Palestinian women are experiencing today, especially in the Gaza Strip, which is witnessing tragic and inhuman conditions resulting from the war and aggression waged by the Israeli occupation authorities against civilians, the majority of whom are innocent women, children and the elderly.
Dr. Al-Tuwaijri expressed that she hopes that the conference will contribute to setting a map for legislative reforms and initiatives aimed at empowering women and enhancing their role in a moderate Islamic society, as well as providing them with the opportunity to fully participate in various economic, educational and social fields.