Saudi Arabia to build new industrial city exclusively for women workers (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) BY CHRISTINE ROBERTS 08/13/12)
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Women-only city expected to create 5,000 jobs as well as women-run
firms and production lines. Saudi government hopes endeavor will
address gender employment gap.
Saudi Arabia is planning to develop a women-only industrial city
aimed at giving females greater independence while still abiding by
The development, which will be built in the Eastern Province city of
Hofuf, is set to open next year, according to The Guardian.
The industrial site will be designed "for women workers in
environment and working conditions consistent with the privacy of
women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations," the Saudi
Industrial Property Authority (Modon), responsible for developing the
city, said in a statement.
The city, initially proposed by a group of Saudi businesswomen, is
expected to create nearly 5,000 jobs in textiles, pharmaceuticals,
and food processing industries, as well as women-run firms and
"I´m sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects
and clarify the industries that best suit their interests, nature and
ability," Modon´s deputy director general, Saleh al-Rasheed, told the
Planners chose the city of Hofuf because it is located near
residential neighborhoods, making it easy for women to commute back
and forth from the city.
The development is the first in a string of exclusively female cities
planned for Saudi Arabia.
Proposals for four similar developments for women workers have been
The cities are part of Saudi Arabia´s push to both expand female
presence in the workplace and to replace foreign salespersons with
Saudi women began replacing staff in make-up and perfume stores this
summer, just six months after they replaced male salespeople in
Though the Saudi government has begun to promote greater financial
independence for women, there is still a striking gender disparity in
the Saudi workforce.
About 15 percent of Gulf kingdom´s working population is believed to
be comprised of women.
There is also a 23 percent gap between male and female employment in
Saudi Arabia - one of the world´s largest disparities, according to
recent Gallup poll results obtained by arabianbusiness.com. (©
Copyright 2011 NYDailyNews.com. 08/13/12)
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