RIYADH – Women with solid higher education will find their rightful place in jobs to serve their country, said Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Monday.
“We are placing our hope and confidence in Allah that Saudi women will have prominent positions based on their hard work and character,” he said.
Prince Naif made the comments during a meeting and Q&A session with the staff of Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rehman University for Girls, at the InterContinental Hotel here.
“The woman is responsible for bringing up generations of good men,” Prince Naif said. “We love her, appreciate her and protect her dignity at any cost, for her to live a good life.”
“We are proud of you the young girls of today and the mothers of tomorrow,” he said.
Questions of employment of women dominated the Q&A session.
A graduate said she had applied for a job in a civil service department and was still awaiting placement.
Prince Naif in his reply noted the government’s job localization strategy for Saudi men and women, especially with the rise of Saudis with higher education and high caliber.
“Saudis have the right to jobs in their country despite the hectic competition from foreign workers drawing low wages,” he said.”But they have to prove they are much better qualified for the jobs occupied by the foreign workforce.”
Prince Naif called on Saudis to accept jobs even if the wages are low because it is better than being unemployed.
Hissa Al-Shammari, a staff member at the university, posed the problem of Saudi women not being allowed to recruit a maid or driver unless they are widows or divorcees.
Prince Naif supported her request to allow Saudi women, regardless of their martial status, to recruit foreign workers, saying: “The Ministry of Labor needs to reconsider the issue and approve of it.”
One woman complained about divorced fathers who are able but refuse to pay to support their children living with the mother. “Alimony and child support is strongly enforced by Shariah Law and the government authorities, including the court system, are obliged to implement it,” Prince Naif said.
“I would urge the Minister of Social Affairs, with the help of women volunteers, to form a society to look after divorced women and spinsters by securing them a monthly income to protect their dignity. This is a project that I hope will become a reality soon,” he said.
Women whose husbands do not fulfill their financial commitments toward their children are urged to report the matter to the Ministry of the Interior so that they get their right, Prince Naif said.– Okaz/SG