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Saudi Arabia Adheres to Combating Racism, Promoting Equality

Saudi Arabia Adheres to Combating Racism, Promoting Equality
Statement by Saudi Arabia at the 78th session of the United Nations General assembly

Saudi Arabia‘s deep-rooted Islamic traditions shape its legal and societal structures, limiting religious freedom and expression, especially for non-Muslims and those following different Islamic interpretations. Conversion from Islam can attract severe penalties.

However, there are signs of a gradual shift towards more openness, partly driven by social media and Vision 2030’s objectives to enhance cultural expression​​.

Progress in Accessibility, Disability Rights

Significant policy changes have been made to improve accessibility, particularly for those with disabilities. This includes financial support, transportation discounts, and job quotas in public and private sectors.

Major cities have upgraded public transport and facilities to be more disability-friendly, aligning with international conventions and national laws like the updated Disability Act of 2018​​.

LGBTQ+ Rights: A Complex Landscape

LGBTQ+ rights remain a controversial and challenging issue in Saudi Arabia. Homosexual activity and transgender expression are criminalized and punished severely.

However, discreet online-based initiatives provide community and support for LGBTQ+ individuals, despite the harsh legal and social environment​​.

Women’s Rights, Gender Equality

Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in women’s rights and gender equality, recognized by the World Bank as a top reformer in 2020. Efforts include expanding women’s economic participation and freedom to travel, as well as appointing women to high-ranking positions.

However, challenges persist, including the male guardianship system and societal discrimination against women​​.

Mental Health, Unconscious Bias

Mental health awareness is growing, with a shift towards community-based services.

However, barriers like stigma and limited resources remain. Additionally, unconscious biases in the workplace, influenced by societal norms and traditional social stratification, can impact workplace dynamics and equality​​.

Workforce Diversification, Migrant Workers

Saudi Arabia’s workforce is becoming more diverse, reflecting its rich cultural heritage and significant expat population.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development is implementing strategies to enhance labor market diversification.

Despite this progress, challenges like cultural differences, language barriers, and unfair labor practices for migrant workers persist​​.

In conclusion, while Saudi Arabia is actively working to combat racism and promote equality and diversity in the workplace, there are still significant areas that require ongoing attention and reform.

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