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“A Step Ahead” Initiative Launched in Saudi Arabia to Encourage Women to Enter Workforce

Under Vision 2030, a national plan to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and transform its society, the Kingdom has been working on increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent by the next 12 years, through strategic goals that support their economic empowerment and self-reliance. Since the announcement of this landmark effort, a number of initiatives have been springing up across the country such as the most recent one entitled “A Step Ahead,” which took place earlier this week.

The three-day career fair, which was held in Riyadh, was designed to empower Saudi women and specifically support their transition into the workforce by providing them with ample employment opportunities, motivating them to learn new skills, and developing their skills. Organized with the support of the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF), the event saw the participation of a number of government institutions, as well as international and local companies, as reported by Saudi Gazette.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of “A Step Ahead,” Noura Abdullah Al-Ridini, director of Women’s Empowerment Programs at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development, explained that the public and private sectors have to play a significant role in increasing the participation of women in the labor market. According to the news site, she praised the ministry’s initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Saudi Arabian women in the workforce in line with the objectives of Vision 2030.

Al-Ridini also took the opportunity to explain that the ministry has created and is implementing several programs such as Duroob Training Portal, all of which aim at supporting women and giving them the necessary qualifications needed to apply for work, as well as engage them in self-employment and freelance work.

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