|28 November, 2019

Female labour force participation in Saudi Arabia increases to 25%

Saudi women still face wage gap with their male counterparts

Image used for illustrative purpose. A Saudi woman is interviewed at a campany's booth during the first annual Bab Rizq Jameel, a three-day job opportunity fair for Saudi youth, where candidates are interviewed by companies and can be instantly hired, at the Riyadh Convention Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A Saudi woman is interviewed at a campany's booth during the first annual Bab Rizq Jameel, a three-day job opportunity fair for Saudi youth, where candidates are interviewed by companies and can be instantly hired, at the Riyadh Convention Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Saudi women now make up around one fourth of the labour market in the kingdom after challenging efforts to boost their role in the workforce, according to the Saudi Minister of Labour & Social Development.

Minister Ahmed al-Rajhi said that the participation rate of women in the workforce increased by 2 percent to 25 percent from last year, local daily Aleqtisadiyah reported, adding, this progress was challenging and demanded significant work.

Al-Rajhi said that the ministry is pushing to raise the share of women in managerial positions, which will help to reduce gender gap in the labour market.

Saudi women are more likely to have higher education degrees than their male counterparts, yet they are less employed and face a wide wage gap especially in the private sector. Read more here:

Meanwhile, the number of female investors in the Saudi stock market, the largest financial market in the Middle East, hit a record high last year. Read more here:

“The kingdom is advancing rapidly in the field of empowering women, hiring them, and especially preparing them for leadership positions, which underscores a major shift in societal barriers towards women employment,” Murtadha Al-Yousef, founder of Saudi Employment- a firm that provides recruitment services for Saudi nationals, told Zawya.

Saudi stock market’s current female chairperson, Sarah Al-Suhaimi, is the first woman to chair a major government financial institution in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud became the first female ambassador to represent Saudi Arabia.

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai nada.rifai@refinitiv.com , edited by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2019

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