Saudi Arabia put women’s empowerment at the ‘core of its agenda,’ says G20 chair

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Saudi Arabia has put women’s empowerment at “the core of its agenda, building on previous momentum,” according to Dr. Hala al-Tuwaijri, chair of the Women’s Empowerment Team at Riyadh’s G20 summit.

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Women’s empowerment “is not a new issue to the G20, it is being addressed almost every year,” she said on Wednesday at a media briefing titled ‘Women Empowerment Workstream’ at the G20 International Media Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

As chair of this year’s G20 Women’s Empowerment Team, al-Tuwaijri said the team “managed to work with all working streams so that all work streams address women’s empowerment.”

“We’ve been meeting with them individually, working with them, so that there are main considerations they address, involving women at all levels of decisions and policy-making.”

When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, al-Tuwairji said “the impact on women is not the same as the impact on men, as women were disproportionally affected by the pandemic.”

“Serious measures need to ensure that whatever happened during pandemic will not become structural.”

Saudi Vision 2030

The Kingdom is also “rooting women empowerment at the core of its Vision 2030, many policy reforms have taken place in the past years to ensure women have access to opportunities and inclusiveness,” al-Tuwaijri said.

The policy reforms are not limited to workplace and labor reforms, they are holistic, according to the chair of the Women’s Empowerment Team.

“The commitment to women’s empowerment is a holistic, comprehensive approach in Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman himself,” she said, adding that they were “delighted to hear his statements at the Women 20 (W20) Summit when he said: ‘Women are the source of progress in any society, without empowered women, it’s difficult to reform society. Women have proven themselves to be leaders of change.’”

Women empowerment is a core priority for Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency, she affirmed, adding “it’s a core priority for Saudi Vision 2030.”

“Saudi Arabia is the country with the biggest improvement in the status of women.”

“We have engaged with the world, we’ve learned so much, we’ve led this file [of women empowerment] with so much passion,” she concluded.

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