Officials in Saudi Arabia announced their intentions to construct a women-only industrial city, according to a recent report published by Reuters. This measure was adopted in order to give local women the possibility to work and observe the country’s strict laws at the same time.
It may seem like a small change for people who live in more modern countries, but the construction of a women-only industrial city is a big step for a highly conservative civilization like the Saudi Arabia. Supporters of equal rights still think that women are discriminated because they are forced to work in special environments, but they acknowledge that the city will make a difference in the Saudi Arabian culture. The construction will be concluded next year and is meant to give women the possibility to support themselves.
The city, which will be located in Hofuf, will be purposefully built to protect women and allow them to work without being afraid of infringing the local laws. General Saleh al-Rasheed, the Deputy Director of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, told the press that only several industries will be allowed to function in the city because women should, nevertheless, work in the domains that best suit their interests and their nature.
As a result, there will be more than 5000 jobs in less difficult domains, such as, textiles, pharmaceuticals and food-processing. The city, however, will be placed in residential areas, so local women won’t have to walk long distances to get to their working places. General Saleh al-Rasheed concluded his declaration by expressing his belief that women will be very efficient at their jobs because they have always expressed their wish to be financially independent.
At present only 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s workforce is made up of women. The new measures could lead to similar changes in the future and women’s status in the Arabian society might be improved. Four similar cities could be created after the industrial city of Hofuf is finished next year.