Saudi Arabian women have been entering the Kingdom’s workforce in unprecedented numbers, following two years of landmark decrees aimed at supporting their increased participation in the country’s economic development. As a result of the country’s unwavering focus to integrate women across various sectors, this year has seen a significant rise in working women in both the public and private sectors, by 282.5 percent, according to recent official statistics.
In addition, it has been reported by local business daily Al-Eqtisadiah that the number of economic establishments in the governmental, private, and non-profit sectors reached over 1 million at the end of this year’s first quarter. During the same duration, the number of Saudi women working in the public and private sectors reached 596,700.
The publication also stated that Saudi Arabia’s workforce today, in the private and public sectors, comprises 8.67 million people, 6.74 million who are non-Saudis representing 77.7 percent, and 1.93 million who are Saudi representing 22.3 percent. In addition, according to estimates in the workforce survey by the General Authority for Statistics (GASTA), the unemployment rate of the total population (15 years and above) fell to 5.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, down from the six percent in the previous quarter.
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 2030, through strategic goals that support their economic empowerment and self-reliance. Through its various programs, initiatives, and decrees, Saudi Arabia is looking to achieve full integration of its women and their real empowerment in society, in education, and across all industries.