The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has lifted a ban that kept women from jobs in most fields in what experts considered a step to boost the economy following the recent deadly attacks.
In its decision, the Saudi cabinet allowed women to obtain commercial licences.
Previously women could only open a business in the name of male relative, and religious and social restrictions excluded them from all but a few professions such as teaching and nursing.
According to official statistics, cited by AFP, just 5.5 percent out of some 4.7 million Saudi women of working age are employed.
The cabinet also ordered government ministries and bodies to create jobs for women and also decided that land will be allocated for the establishment of industrial projects to employ women.
In a related development, Saudi Labor Minister, Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, has specified the dates for the three-month grace period in which small businesses can still recruit foreign workers.
Al-Gosaibi said labor offices had been instructed to accept applications from small firms with less than 10 employees for the recruitment of foreign workers from May 24 until Aug. 21.
The grace period was granted “to meet the manpower requirements of small firms and in response to the demands of the small business owners,” the minister said.
Last month, the minister decided to ban small firms from recruiting foreign staff in an attempt to create jobs for Saudis and reduce the Kingdom’s unemployment rate. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )