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Saudi Arabia: Most Reformist Kingdom in Empowering Women

During the first regular session of the Executive Council of UN Women in its virtual meeting, Mona Al-Ghamdi, a member of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN, affirmed that the Kingdom is moving towards the future at a steady and confident pace by introducing historic reforms and making important achievements in various fields, especially the social, economic and development fields.

She indicated that the economic advancement of women, gender equality and their empowerment is at the forefront of these reforms. She stressed that despite the great challenges that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kingdom has continued to move towards the economic empowerment of women and girls.

She added that the Kingdom affirms its full commitment to the advancement of women and their empowerment as an effective partner in building society.

The Kingdom affirmed to UN Women its full commitment as an effective partner to work closely and constructively, in line with internal regulations and policies, to advance women and girls and empower them as an effective partner in building societies, especially during these difficult times the world is witnessing, and in the coming years.

Al-Ghamdi pointed out that the Kingdom is still making historic reforms which put it at the top of the list of 190 countries that are most advanced and reformed in the areas of empowering women and strengthening their role in building society.

The Kingdom is witnessing major reforms and transformation according to the World Bank’s report about “Women, Business and Law 2020.”

She stressed that, the Kingdom has worked on adopting a package of legislative reforms and introducing regulations and policies towards the advancement and empowerment of Saudi women, specifically in the areas of women’s mobility, the workplace, entrepreneurship and pensions.

She stated that the Kingdom has taken strict decisions towards criminalizing sexual harassment in the workplace in the public and private sectors by enacting legislation and criminal penalties to protect women and girls from gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Al-Ghamdi indicated that the Kingdom encouraged women to compete in the entrepreneurial sectors through the introduction of legal amendments aimed at protecting women from discrimination in the work sectors.

These legal amendments include the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex from accessing financial services, and the separation of women during pregnancy and maternity leave.

Furthermore, Al-Ghamdi continued, “Equality in the retirement age is one of the most important reforms that are implemented through equalizing the retirement age for women and men at 60 years. It contributed to extending their years of service and benefiting them from all benefits and payments and extending the period of their effective contribution to the advancement of the national economy.”

She reaffirmed that the Kingdom aims, through these ongoing reforms, to advance the role of Saudi women in order to advance the highest leadership positions and enable them to assume the highest ranks in the public and private sectors, and to advance towards enhancing their prosperity and empowering them professionally and economically.

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