In another first this year, Saudi Arabia has set up what is believed to be its first all-women municipality branch in the city of Medina. The office will have all services offered by the municipality, including issuance of licenses for commercial activities and construction permits, inspection campaigns, and investment opportunities.
Speaking to the Saudi Gazette, Mohammad Al-Amry, the head of the Medina Municipality explained that this new branch will serve the female population.
“In compliance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, we worked on empowering women and facilitating our services for them. There are many qualified women to run the women branch,” said Al-Amry.
Hamdah Al-Enizi, former Shoura Council member and adviser to the Minister of Labor and Social Development, pointed out that an “all-women municipality branch is a positive step for the empowerment of women.”
“We deserve equal employment opportunities and the current leadership is giving women more and more opportunities in the public sector which used to be male dominated. Women will be more involved in decision making and will have a direct impact on social and economic development,” she said.
Over the past year, Saudi Arabia has been providing more opportunities and freedoms for its female population in line with its Vision 2030, a plan by the world’s biggest oil exporter to overhaul its oil revenue reliant economy, reforming it into a more diversified and privatized structure.
According to the official website, Vision 2030 aims to “provide opportunities for everyone – men and women, young and old – so they may contribute to the best of their abilities. With over 50 percent of our university graduates being female, we will continue to develop their talents, invest in their productive capabilities and enable them to strengthen their future and contribute to the development of our society and economy.”