Nearly six million Saudi women ‘do not participate’ in workforce

A woman gestures as she leaves a polling station after casting her vote during municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 12, 2015. (Reuters)

More than 5.8 million Saudi women are not participating in the labor force, despite the fact that most of them are over 15 years old, according to the General Authority for Statistics’ report for the second half of 2015, Al-Watan daily reported.

The report indicated that the number of Saudi women participating in the workforce in 2015 was 1.2 million compared to 4.4 million Saudi men. The gap is huge and should be reduced in order to achieve economic equilibrium and solve the unemployment problem, the report said.

The focus was on young men and women over 15 years old and over who were playing a participatory role in the labor force. The authority conducted a survey to measure the rate of participation in economy growth and unemployment in the second half of 2015.

Usually, it carries out the survey twice a year and it is planning to make this survey four times a year to get accurate figures about men and women participation in the workforce.

One of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s initiatives within 2030 Vision is to reduce this gap in the labor force. The ministry will design policies targeting and developing the labor market and creating more job opportunities for both men and women equally. It will also enter into strategic partnerships with the private sector to increase women participation in the workforce and give them more chances to contribute to the development of the national economy.

The ministry recently introduced training programs of cell phone maintenance for women to encourage women to venture into the telecommunications sector and work as cell phone technicians.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49