The Labor Ministry will officially launch its “work from a distance program” for women next month in seven cities, local daily Al-Madina reported Tuesday quoting an official source at the ministry.
The source said under the program, about 200,000 Saudi women are expected to be employed by the private sector during the coming four years.
In its initial stage, the program will be launched in Hail, Qassim, Jazan, Najran, Al-Ahsa, Madinah and Arar. It will later be expanded to cover 40 towns and cities.
“This is a pivotal program for the employment of Saudi women in the private sector,” he added.
The source said the ministry has already prepared business centers in the seven cities to oversee the employment of women from their homes.
He explained that the centers will be under the supervision of the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf).
“The ministry has licensed these centers to employ Saudi women under the official work contracts of the private sector including monthly salaries and other fringe benefits,” he said.
The source said the ministry has copied the Indian experiment in this field and has sought the help of some Indian companies, mainly Tata, to install an electronic system through which it can monitor the contractual relationship between the women and the private sector to make sure that the program is not being used for fake Saudization.
“Through these centers the ministry will be able to monitor the labor relationship between all the parties involved,” the source said.
The source said the program is aimed at protecting women from transportation problems because of which many of them refuse to take up jobs.
Saudi Arabia announced the distance work program in 2013 to expand opportunities for job seekers, especially women and those living in remote areas.
Women unemployment has been on the rise in Saudi Arabia, and people are blaming private sector for the rise.
The rate of unemployed Saudi women in 2014 reached 32.8 percent when it was only 15 percent in 2013. The rate of unemployed Saudi men in 2014 reached 5.9 percent.
The total rate of unemployment in 2014 reached 11.7 percent after it was 11.5 percent in 2013, Arabic daily Al-Madinah quoted the source as saying.
Originally Published on Saudi Gazette