Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who Says Saudi Women Don't Want to Work?

Whoever they are, they are wrong.

Over 1,000 women apply for 20 IT jobs in Saudia
Published: Aug 16, 2011 23:09 Updated: Aug 16, 2011 23:09

JEDDAH: More than 1,000 women have applied for 20 vacancies in Saudi Arabian Airlines' IT department in a single day when the company started receiving applications on Monday.

An official from the company expected a huge number of women to apply for the limited number of jobs until the application deadline on Aug. 24.

The call by Saudia to women to apply for the limited postings has been welcomed by young women jobseekers. “This is great news, and it will definitely create a competitive environment,” said 26-year-old Noha, an unemployed university student in Jeddah.

“In general, vacancies for women tend to be limited here, and I plan to apply as it is my field, and hopefully will get the job.”

Many others felt this was a promising start and pointed to the sheer numbers applying for the 20 vacancies. “But it is a small start,” said Rawan Hasan, an unemployed woman in her 20s living with her family in Jeddah. She said she is planning to apply online for the job, although she thinks she might need more training to meet some of the specialist criteria.

“Submitting the application through the website will perhaps be the easy part. The interview and English exam might be the tough part to get the job,” said Rawan.

“Despite the fact that it’s only 20 or so vacancies I am planning to apply for the job in Saudia. I need to have a career and this is a good move by Saudia to open up to Saudi women,” said Abeer, a recent graduate from King Abdulaziz University. “However, I hope in the future Saudia will offer more job opportunities for women.”

When the company previously advertised 100 jobs for men it received 52,000 applications, Vice President for Public Relations at Saudi Arabian Airlines Abdullah Al-Ajhar said in a statement.

However, he said the company has future plans to recruit women in sections such as its medical, customer relations and sales departments, a local newspaper reported.

The airline has set 25 years as the minimum age for women candidates applying for jobs if they are bachelor’s degree holders and 30 years if they are postgraduates, Al-Ahjar said.

The jobs are restricted to Saudi nationals who carry an identity card. The applicant should be specialized in computer-related sciences, accounting, finance, statistics and administrative information systems.

An applicant should pass tests of English language proficiency at the fourth level and have a working knowledge of the language before appearing for a personal interview.

The successful candidates will be appointed at Grade 8 in the case of bachelor’s holders and Grade 9C in the case of master’s. They will also be entitled to medical insurance and annual housing allowance of three months' worth of pay. The national airline has very few women employees.

Unemployment among educated Saudi women is very high in the Kingdom. As a move to ease the situation recently, the government announced that 39,000 jobs would be set apart for women out of 52,000 earmarked in the education sector.

The government also has canceled the stipulation demanding proof of residence by women applicants for jobs in the Ministry of Education. Another move to provide more opportunities for women is the banning of male workers in lingerie shops.


I rest my case.

Your comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?

Related Posts:
Lingerie in Saudi and Social Activism
More Lingerie in Saudi Arabia--Bought Elsewhere!
Saudi Women's Work: Domestic Artists to Working Artisans
Saudi Arabia Takes the Gold! In MVA’s, RTA’s, Car Accidents/ Fatalities/ Injuries [on teachers braving long, dangerous commutes to work]
On Women Driving, in the West and Saudi; Other Parameters of Women's Quality of Life; Hope for Change [the relationships among education, work, and driving]
Saudi Women Driving Garners Attention; Saudi Women's Education Brings Substantive Change--Including to Driving [the relationships among education, work, and driving]


Wendy said...

I don't think anybody believes Saudi women DO NOT want to work. They mostly are not allowed. I also understand that the new rule that women be allowed to work in lingerie stores is about to be reversed in some areas and women working in grocery stores lasted a month maybe? Wonderful progress, eh??? :(

Chiara said...

Wendy-thanks for your comment. I have read many comments on posts on various Saudi and Saudi-themed blogs where men and women, Saudi and non, insist Saudi women do not wish to work outside the home. Also, in speaking with Saudi women, some seem to suggest they don't want to work when they return to Saudi, as much as they suggest they won't be able to do so. It may be a psychological way of mitigating disappointment given the limited opportunities or a lifestyle preference--hard to know when choice is so limited.

Re: the opportunities, definitely one step forward, two back except in teaching and medicine it seems. :(

Thanks again for your comment!

Wendy said...

I think it might depend on their education and home life. If they have good providers they may not want to work. If they haven't been educated in a serious way in anything useful (going to a university to mark time and waste space until marriage) they may not want to work. If they have been educated in a specific field or are on the lower financial scale women undoubtedly would rather work than not practice their profession or have to struggle to make ends meet.


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