Keeping them home: Saudi Arabia to introduce work-from-home project for women
The Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) is planning to implement a project that will allow women to work from home within three months.
The head of the fund, Ibrahim Al-Meaiqel, told Al-Madinah daily that temporary permits will be provided to women to work from home and different support bodies will participate in the project.
An electronic gateway will be set up to provide comprehensive information and data on working from home, he said.
He noted this huge and important project would be the cornerstone of support for all women working at home until a final agreement is reached with other concerned bodies on how to regulate this sector.
Al-Meaiqel pointed out that one of the obstacles facing women who want to work from home is obtaining the necessary permits and support.
He explained that concerned ministries are aware of the importance of this project and final solutions would be enacted to deal with any problems facing the project.
"Negotiations are under way with a specialized company to set up an electronic gate that will include all necessary information, data and regulations for women working from home," he said.
He pointed out that more specialized bodies should participate in this project to embrace these women and their businesses and provide them with the support and expertise required.
A World Bank report estimates women account for 40 percent of the world population and 70 percent of poor people, of whom half are unemployed.
A report on development in the Arab world shows that more than 50 percent of women are unemployed and many countries, including the Kingdom, have encouraged work from home projects to deal with this problem.
A recent study also shows that 66 percent of women would prefer to work from home if they had the opportunity.
Working from home has become an international trend and around 2 million people work from home in Britain, 20 million in the US, half a million in Canada, and 13.5 million in Japan.
Many work-from-home businesses later developed into small establishments, employing 84 percent of the workforce in Japan and contributing around 52 percent to the industrial production of the country.
In the US and Europe, small establishments employ about 70 percent of the workforce, while Italy has around 2.5 million such businesses.
Studies have shown that working from home will save women around 40 percent of their income.