The Coordination Council for Women Affairs at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), chaired by HRH Princes Nora bint Mohammed bin Saud, spouse of Riyadh Governor, took rapid steps since its formation in 2017 towards empowering Saudi women across various sectors in the Kingdom, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030’s goals to increase women’s contribution to economy from 20% to 30%. The Coordination Council managed to propose seven initiatives over the past year – reflecting its dedication in this regard.
One of the initiatives entailed feminizing the hospitality and catering sector, which was led by Huda Al Jeraisy and a group of members who identified regulations and conditions for working in restaurants in various places. The taskforce made field trips to 16 different restaurants, and conducted reports on the challenges facing women in this sector so as to submit them to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
Another initiative was concerned with qualifying young Saudi women to work in the cosmetics sector, led by Shua’a Al Duhailan, who was tasked – along with her team – to develop a gradual plan to Saudize the sector without compromising it. The plan was submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development which in turn submitted it to the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and Colleges of Excellence for further revision and refinement. The taskforce was successful in obtaining funding from the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to support the initiative in its first phase in the Eastern Region. Further talks are currently underway with HRDF to support similar initiatives in the Kingdom. There are additionally talks with TVTC to open a branch for women in this regard.
As to working in factories, Huda Al Jeraisy and her team held a workshop on challenges facing women in this field and conducted a report on the matter to submit to relevant bodies. Other initiatives included training programs and creating new career paths for women in the Saudi market. On this matter, a taskforce led by Najd Al Kharashi conducted a report on career paths for women in the Kingdom and future prospects in light of the Saudi Vision 2030. The taskforce cooperated with Princes Nora University to identify and evaluate the market needs, and nominate relevant businesswomen to teach university courses so as to share their experience and reduce the gap between the market place and education outputs.
Other initiatives included revising the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s strategies for women employment, which was led by Nadia Al Amoudi and a group of members who conducted a report on the matter and submitted it to the Internal Trade Agency at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. There was additionally an initiative to promote remote working for women in the private sector, led by Nadia Omar, in cooperation with a company that adopts such a system, noting that the first remote working center for women was launched in Riyadh under the auspices of HRH Prince Nora bint Mohammed.
The Coordination Council for Women Affairs is drafting more initiatives that will be launched throughout 2018, including an initiative led by Rania Salama to identify regulations that hinder women from engaging in free professions, and another to provide nurseries at the workplace for working mothers.
The Coordination Council for Women Affairs held its fourth meeting to review its achievements in overcoming challenges facing women employments, and propose further plans for the current year to expand the scope of women involvement in the national economic development process.