Over the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia has been opening up traditionally male-only or male-dominated professions to women. The Kingdom’s efforts spanned a number of key sectors, showing its commitment to incorporating more women in various fields particularly in the security forces, from recruiting them as border guards to launching the first military section for women in the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces. This week, the military has announced that it is taking a major step in its efforts, by fully opening up military recruitment to women across all ranks.
Following a ruling by the Saudi Ministry of Defense, women can now join the Kingdom’s armed forces by signing up through a unified admission portal. Various military ranks in the Saudi Arabian Army, Royal Saudi Air Defense, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force, and Armed Forces Medical Services are now open for interested female applicants.
Despite this year's challenges, Saudi Arabia has "continued to move toward its goals and ambitions pertaining to the economic empowerment of women," said Mona Alghamdi from @KSAMissionUN.https://t.co/hl9w40uuej— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) February 21, 2021
This landmark move has been a few years in the making, starting in October 2019, when Saudi Arabia, in line with its current vision to include women in every facet of society, industry, and economy, ruled that women would be permitted to join the armed force, a first for the nation. One of the key moves it made following that announcement was issuing an order in October 2020 to appoint 99 female military personnel in the Special Force for the Security of the Prophet’s Mosque, a first in the Kingdom’s history.
Turfah Al-Mutairi, currently employs 170 workers in her military outfit factory, most of whom are women. She plans on hiring a further 213 new employees as part of her expansion strategy.https://t.co/GeqY2OVdFn— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) November 19, 2020
The opening up of all major ranks its military has been designed with certain criteria that must be met by applicants such as meeting certain conditions, passing all admission procedures, being medically fit, have at least a high school diploma, and presenting a clean record. Only applicants between 21 and 40 years of age are allowed to apply, and all must be Saudi citizens holding an independent national identity card.