Saudi Arabia Issues Sweeping Changes to Enhance Role of Women in Society
August 02, 2019
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a series of sweeping legal changes to enhance the role of women in society, including an end to restrictions on travel and far-reaching labor provisions that guarantee women equal pay in the workplace and protection against dismissal during pregnancy.
The new travel documents law will go into effect by the end of August. Under its provisions, women will be able to apply for their passports independently in the same manner that men apply. The new law builds on a number of recent reforms under Vision 2030 that have transformed the country, including a series of changes specifically designed to advance the status of women.
Beyond travel documents, the Kingdom has also lifted restrictions on the mobility of women, granting them the right to independently open and run a business. The amendments build on the recently enacted law that protects women from harassment in public spaces, and expand their opportunities to occupy senior government positions.
To secure equality for women in the labor market, Saudi Arabia has put in place new protections against discrimination in the workplace, covering the periods of recruitment, employment and the setting of wages. The protections extend so that women cannot be dismissed during pregnancy.
As part of the transformative agenda of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is committed to helping women reach their full potential. The knowledge, skills and capabilities of Saudi Arabia’s women are among the greatest assets of the country, and the government is committed to putting women at the center of the social and economic transformation taking place under Vision 2030.