Saudi Arabia To Build “Women-Only” City
The government of Saudi Arabia recently announced its plans to build a “women-only” city in the hopes of creating jobs and attracting younger women to the national workforce.
The country’s strict laws do not forbid women from holding jobs in the public or private sector, but it is estimated that less than fifteen percent of all of those employed in the country are female. Few companies within the country are owned and operated by women, but such a city would allow for women to develop careers and other important business and socialization skills.
“The city is distinguished from other industrial cities for its proximity to residential neighborhoods to facilitate the movement of women to and from the workplace. It is also characterized by allocating sections equipped for women workers in environment and working conditions consistent with the privacy of women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations,” according to a statement from the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon).
According to Asian News International (ANI), the municipality will be built in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf. If the city becomes a success, other locations will be created.
Women only recently won the right to participate in Olympic athletic events and to vote in certain government elections beginning in 2015, but are still not granted driving privileges.
It is expected that most businesses within the city will involve food processing, textile production, or pharmaceutical manufacturing.
‘I’m sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suits their interests, their nature and their ability’, Modon’s deputy director-general, Saleh Al-Rasheed, told Saudi daily newspaper al-Eqtisadiah.
The Post reports, the development is expected to attract 500 million riyals (about $133 million) in investments and create nearly 5,000 jobs.