Saudi women are taking their rightful place as bringers of change to KSA

      Published on Monday, 25 September , 2017      251 Views     
Saudi women are taking their rightful place as bringers of change to KSA

In 1970, the literacy rate for women in Saudi Arabia was two percent.

Today, women make up more than half of our university graduates.

Such an advance would not have been possible without the wisdom and guidance of King Faisal Bin Ibn Abdul Aziz, whose rule saw the first schools for girls established and who championed the cause of female education throughout his reign.

Without King Faisal, it is fair to say that women’s education would be very different in the Kingdom – as would the role of women in society.

Around the world in 2017, we see the benefits of this more enlightened approach to women’s education, with the number of women entering the workforce rising exponentially over the past few decades. From supermarket cashiers to Olympic athletes – women are enjoying more varied roles than ever before.

In KSA, change is also appearing. The head of the Saudi stock exchange – the largest in the MENA – is headed by a woman, as are a number of other key financial institutions in the country. The foundation that is tasked with building the Kingdom’s education system is also led by a woman, as are some of the most important NGOs that are helping to transform the country.

Giving greater employment opportunities to women will help us achieve the objectives of Saudi’s Vision 2030. Moreover, the government is committed to getting more women into the workforce. Our labour ministry is trying to create thousands of jobs for women by supporting remote working.

In KSA, we see the glass as half full. The engineers who work with our healthcare customers are women, some of our Avaya partners are led by women, and I have just closed a hiring contract to appoint a woman marketing manager.  This is in line with our commitment to transform our business in the Kingdom to 25 percent Saudization by the end of 2017, and 50 percent by the end of 2018.

The dialogue is moving beyond “how do we get more women into the workforce”, and is becoming about how we resolve the challenges that lie ahead. How do we upskill generations of men and women to build an economy that is moving away from oil reliance? How do we, as private, public and NGO players plan for a transition of public sector services towards full Saudization? Who and when will kick off a nation-wide education strategy that transforms our education system and builds a generation that is ready for the future?

King Faisal famously declared: “Every responsible citizen and every individual in every Arab country should devote himself to the service of his country and his people to raise his country to the place it deserves among the nations of the world”. These words ring as true today as they did when he spoke them in 1963: it is not the sole responsibility of our leaders to change; it is up to all of us to play our part.

For my own small contribution, I want to hear from my colleagues, friends, family and any Saudi national who has an idea about how we can drive our Kingdom’s transformation. Let’s see how we, Saudis running multinational technology companies in the Kingdom or operating local businesses can give back to our country and help build a bright future. The road ahead is challenging, but it is also exciting as we all do our part to help carry the transformation flag.

Hisham Al Sheikh is the Avaya country manager in Saudi Arabia.
Category Life | 2017/09/25 latest update at 12:00 AM
Source : | Photocredit :
Comments Add comment

Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Saudi Arabia Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Saudi Arabia and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Saudi Arabia Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the world.

Sponsored Publications

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives GCC Secretary General King

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives GCC Secretary General

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received here today the Secretary…

Saudi Arabia Underlines Harmony with UAE for Interests of their People, Region King

Saudi Arabia Underlines Harmony with UAE for Interests of their People, Region

The Saudi cabinet hailed on Tuesday the visit paid to the United Arab Emirates last week by Crown…

Saudi king hosts CIA chief Gina Haspel for talks King

Saudi king hosts CIA chief Gina Haspel for talks

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director Thursday, state media said, after three people were…

Saudi Arabia, Palestinians Agree on Joint Business Council Events

Saudi Arabia, Palestinians Agree on Joint Business Council

Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians agreed on Thursday to establish a joint economic committee and a business council,…


Popular in GULF TV

PIRELLI “DREAMING” – THE CAL 2019 making of Full Version | Fashion Channel


A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one…

Latest videos in GULF TV







Science & Technology