As Saudi Arabia works on improving the rights and access of Saudi women, various sectors have been opening up to them that were strictly reserved for men, such as border security posts, the firefighting department, aviation, and sports. Today, in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to have a more inclusive society, doctors are urging the Saudi Red Crescent Authority to employ female paramedics to work alongside their male counterparts. Speaking to Al-Bilad Arabic newspaper, they explained that women were needed in order to follow up on cases of injured female patients moved to hospitals and to ultimately improve services by a sector dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of women every year.
As the doctors pointed out to the newspaper, other equally and even more grueling sectors such as those dedicated to fighting fires and dealing with traffic accidents have women as part of their teams. So, it is only reasonable that Saudi women be included in the Saudi Red Crescent Authority. In addition, as pointed out by Saudi Gazette, male paramedics sometimes find it difficult to handle injured females especially in fires and traffic accidents, and therefore, it would be much easier if female counterparts were on hand to administer first aid to women victims at accident scenes and move them to hospitals if needed.
Furthermore, given Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, male paramedics may sometimes hesitate to treat injured women if their male guardians are not present, a decision that can be critical when it comes to the nature of work administered by Red Crescent, i.e., treatment that requires quick intervention to save lives.
“Saudi women are capable of carrying out emergency work with men. They are only in need of training, guidance, and a suitable working environment,” one doctor said, adding that “to them, being a female paramedic is nothing different and it is part of the nursing job. It’s only a matter of time before we see female paramedics working in Saudi Arabia. This is especially so in the backdrop of the great attention Saudi women are getting and the ways they are being looked at now to benefit from their expertise and devotion to work.”
Al-Bilad managed to reach deputy at the Saudi Red Crescent Authority Muhammed Manna’a, who explained that the decision to employ female paramedics must be taken by the higher authorities, and that the “subject has never been discussed with the authority and the Shoura Council is the pertinent body to study the matter.”