With new reforms being implemented in Riyadh, women in the Kingdom are moving to the capital for all-around better work opportunities. Arab News spoke to four single Saudi women on their big career moves to the ‘first city’. These success stories illustrate and give us insight on how Saudi Arabia ranked as a top reformer in the World Bank’s 2020 report on Women, Business, and Law. Let’s dive into this firsthand accounts of how Saudi Arabia’s capital is increasing women’s participation in the labor market.
1. Shahad Al-Hamdan, communication officer
A better job opportunity and salary pushed Shahad Al-Hamdan to move to Riyadh and lead a new life. The media professional used to live in Jeddah, where she struggled with low salaries and little to no career progression. “
2. Shahad Al-Harbi, 28-year-old marketing officer
Shahad Al Harbi’s family
3. Raghad Al-Juhani, editor of a political program at news channel Al-Ekhbariya
Right after graduating high school in 2015, Raghad Al-Juhani moved from Tabuk to Riyadh to study what she wanted and be an independent woman. Just like other fellow single Saudi women, Al-Juhani’s family wasn’t immediately on board with her decision. “One moment my parents supported me, the next they changed their minds. This created a lot of anxiety for me, and I worried whether I’d fail this challenge,” said Al-Juhani. “Once I proved to them
Personal growth and character-buildings are one of her stellar outcomes of living alone. “It reminds you that your future is in your own hands. I’d advise anyone who hasn’t found a helpful environment to create another one,” Al-Juhani told Arab
4. Asma Al-Balawi, event manager
Asma Al-Balawi had no intention to move from Tabuk but after a visit to Riyadh where she benefited of its high demand job market. Al-Balawi accepted a job offer only two weeks after having applied. “My family didn’t have time to react. It all happened so fast, but still they were supportive of my decision,” she said. Al-Balawi faces difficulties as a single mother living with her daughter and another female roommate in Riyadh. “Now everything is my responsibility: Paying bills, rent, grocery shopping. This made me realize that my salary isn’t mine as it once was when I used to live with my parents. Riyadh is an expensive city compared to others in Saudi Arabia,” she said.