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Saudi women to run pharmacies soon, says Fakieh

Last updated: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 2:07 PM
Adel Fakieh

Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — Minister of Labor Adel Fakieh has promised that women will run pharmacies soon, a local newspaper reported.

At a press conference celebrating the employment of 330 Saudis at Al-Nahdi Medical Company, Fakieh said the employment of women is facing challenges.

A memorandum has been agreed with the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to deal with companies that do not adhere to rules governing the employment of women.

Penalties imposed could include blacklisting offending organizations.

These companies may also be denied services, face closure of their shops and fines.

Fakieh said 80,000 beneficiaries of the Hafiz unemployment assistance programs have obtained jobs and have left the program.

He added that there is no minimum salary that companies must pay, but the ministry will count any Saudi with a salary of SR1,500 as half a Saudi when calculating Saudization percentages.

Any Saudi receiving less than that will not be counted.

The ministry plans to increase the minimum wages of Saudi workers to SR4,000 and will fund this using the increased expatriate workers fees, which are now SR2,400 a year for each employee.

He pointed that actual unemployment is 12.2 percent, 6.1 percent among men and 35 percent among women.

The ministry’s recent efforts were successful in more than doubling the number of women workers employed in the private sector than in the past 30 years, he said.

The deputy general manager of the Human Resources Development Fund, Abdul Karim Al-Nujaidi, said the private sector should believe in the capabilities of young Saudis and train and employ them.

CEO of Al-Nahdi Medical Company Bader Hammou said his company would employ 1,000 Saudis around the Kingdom by the end of 2013.

Hammou emphasized the value of investing in national human resources and said his company is now implementing a plan to employ more Saudis.

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