Apr 13 2014

Separate ministry for women demanded

The Shoura Council is considering a proposal to launch a high council for women, or a separate ministry for women, according to Thuraya Arrayed, a Shoura member.

"I personally support establishing such a council or ministry with the aim of defending the interests of women," Arrayed told local media.

The Eastern Province Businesswomen's Forum, which concluded its sessions in Dammam on Saturday, supported the move to help Saudi women play an effective economic role, and invest the SR375 billion lying idle in their bank accounts.

The forum was organized by the Asharqia Chamber.

Lama Al-Sulaiman, another member, said that men should be held accountable for the qualification they have in comparison to that of women. "About 70 percent of the men who engage in the economic activity cannot read or write," she claimed.

Fadia Al-Rashid, head of businesswomen's committee in Al-Ahsa, said that sectors for Saudi women's participation are limited. According to her, while they have SR375 billion in banks, their economic activity amounts to just 8 percent.

Addressing a session on "Saudi women, a confident step toward the future," Maha Fitaihi, president of the Saudi Girl Guides, said: "We cannot force women to get out and work. It is a woman's choice. We only want that she be more aware of her surroundings, to raise her children and not leave this task to the maid."

On another issue concerning women, Ibrahim Al-Muhawas, member of the faculty at the University of Al-Mujamma, in a paper at an international medical conference held recently in Riyadh demanded that female specialists handle forensic medicine cases involving rape as women who claim being raped refuse to be examined by a male doctor.

The participants stressed the importance of the result of DNA tests in rape cases.

© Arab News 2014

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