Saudi Arabia now opens doors of military jobs to women

To be eligible for a soldier rank role, candidates must meet 12 conditions

News Desk February 23, 2018
To be eligible for a soldier rank role, candidates must meet 12 conditions PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

In the wake of Saudi Arabia’s 'Vision 2030' which is opening up new work opportunities for women, the Arab kingdom has announced soldier rank positions for them in the royal military.

Opportunities in the field will be available to women in several of the kingdom's governorates including Riyadh, Makkah, al-Qusaim, and al Madina, said a statement issued by Saudi’s General Security division according to the Arab media.

The latest development is a part of an initiative launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aiming to diversify the economy beyond oil and mandates increasing the percentage of Saudi women in the workforce.

However, to be eligible for a soldier rank role, a woman must meet 12 conditions. She has to be of Saudi origin, and needs to have been brought up in the kingdom except if her father had to live abroad due to a ‘government-related responsibility’.

An ideal candidate must be between 25 to 35 years of age and holds at least a high school education, Al Arabiya reported, adding that those married to non-Saudi men are not allowed to apply.

The candidates must have a clear criminal record and proof that they have not previously been employed in any government or military-related institution.

According to the job advertisement, applicants who pass initial interviews will have to undergo a medical checkup.

Saudi women to start own businesses without male permission

While women still face a host of restrictions in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor’s office this month said it would begin recruiting women investigators for the first time.

The kingdom has also opened 140 positions for women at airports and border crossings, a historic first that the government said drew 107,000 female applicants.

Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative, as the kingdom pushes to expand a fast-growing private sector. The policy change also marks a major step away from the strict guardianship system that has ruled the country for decades.

The crown prince, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading the drive to expand the role of women in the workforce in recent months.

His father, King Salman, in September approved the end of a decades-long ban on driving, which goes into effect in June.

The 32-year-old prince pledged a “moderate, open” Saudi Arabia in October, breaking with ultra-conservative clerics in favour of an image catering to foreign investors and Saudi youth.

Prince Mohammed is widely seen as the chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” reform programme, which seeks to elevate the percentage of women in the work force from 22% to nearly one-third.

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