65% of Saudi women are unemployed

Published: May 9, 2010 01:29 Updated: May 9, 2010 01:29 

ABHA: Only 35 percent of qualified Saudi women are employed, said Mufrej 
Al-Haqabani, deputy labor minister for planning and development. 

"This is a low rate and does not augur well," he said.

Presenting a working paper at a forum on human resources here, he said 
expatriates accounted for 53 percent of the workforce in the private sector in 
2009 while Saudis represented 47 percent.

Al-Haqabani emphasized that fighting unemployment among Saudis is a joint 
responsibility, adding that it does not fall on his ministry alone.

He said the Council of Ministers approved the Kingdom's employment strategy 
last year and gave 25 years to fulfill its objectives.

Noura Al-Fayez, deputy education minister for girls affairs, also spoke at the 
forum. She referred to her ministry's efforts in human resource development.

"The King Abdullah General Education Development Project aims at developing 
educational curricula, providing orientation courses to teachers and education 
leaders, improving education atmosphere and developing students' skills," she 

Participants asked Al-Fayez whether the ministry had any plan to introduce 
physical education for girls in order to solve problems with obesity. She did 
not answer the question, but offered the view that even male students who 
attend physical education suffer from such problems. She however urged female 
students to practice physical exercise to keep themselves fit.

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