JEDDAH: By proving their sheer strength, perseverance and an ability to retain their cool and poise when faced with any tedious task or a difficult phase of life, Saudi women have proved their mettle in almost all walks of life. By working along side men, Saudi women have carved a niche for themselves in different fields and have greatly contributed to the development and progress of the Kingdom.
In doing so, women have to grapple with several societal taboos and social norms which has made them emerge even stronger.
A picture of a Saudi female Royal Guard, which went viral on social media platforms recently, symbolically highlights the gains Saudi women have recently made from new employment opportunities and more social freedoms offered to them.
The picture showing the Saudi female guard standing beside her male colleague has evoked very positive comments. Social media users expressed their pride and joy at the rare photograph of the woman guard at a high-profile government office. It is unclear when the photo was taken.
For decades, Saudi women were unable to serve in the military or drive, and strict guardianship laws limited their freedom of movement.
But now, under the leadership of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, women have earned more rights. In February 2018, Saudi Arabia gave women the opportunity to join the military working in security services for the interior ministry, departments of criminal investigations, security patrol and pilgrimage security. In October 2019, the Kingdom opened the armed forces to women, saying they would be able to serve in the ranks of private first class, corporal or sergeant.
Applicants were shortlisted after tests and interviews.
The initiative, part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Program, is the first that allowed women to climb the ladder toward senior ranks. It pushes for the empowerment of women and giving them more leadership positions, and highlighting the significance of their involvement across different fields.
Saudi women have already been given the opportunity to climb the ranks in the front line of public security, including the General Directorate of Narcotics, General Directorate of Prisons, Criminal Evidence and Customs.(SG)
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