The percent of working Saudi women is expected to rise from 0.5 percent a decade ago to 7.4 percent during the next 5 years, according to Nada Al Fayez, a prominent Saudi writer and member of the Saudi Economy Association.
Al Fayez said the increase would be sparked by the government's 2000-2005 labor development plan that seeks to replace expatriate workers with Saudi nationals.
Statistics reveal that between 1985-90, there were 170,000 Saudi women in the workforce compared with 27,000 in 1975. The information does not indicate whether the jobs were in the private or public sector. Al Fayez said that 49.6 percent of the kingdom's population are women.
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