There’s been a 130 per cent rise in the number of females in employment over four years, according to this study.
The kingdom is on a mission to get more women into the workplace, and it appears changes are occurring at quite a speed.
In fact, Saudi Arabia has seen a 130 per cent increase in the number of female nationals working in the private sector in the last four years, Gulf News reports.
The number of female employees in the sector rose from 215,000 in 2012 to 496,000 in 2016, a study based on figures from Saudi’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development found.
Women now make up around 30 per cent of Saudi’s private sector workforce, local newspaper Al Eqtisadiya reported, compared to 12 per cent in 2011.
As part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030, the post-oil economy plan, the government aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.
That figure, however, takes in both the public and private sectors – and according to the Saudi Gazette in 2015, female nationals made up 13 per cent of private and public positions.
However judging by the most recent statistics, the Vision 2030 goals most definitely look achievable.
To encourage more women into work, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has launched a project to allow them to work from home, to alleviate childcare and transportations issues.
Currently, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where it’s illegal for women to drive, making getting to the office a potential problem.
It’s a situation that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal addressed in an open letter last year titled “It is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars”.
Allowing women to drive would not only allow for more disposable income for Saudi families, but Alwaleed estimated it would keep around 30 billion riyals inside the local economy each year.