When we say the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, certain things come to mind oil, the origin of the Islamic religion, Arabian horses, coffee, the world’s largest desert, extravagant palace, the country where women were not allowed to drive, and much more. However, until quite recently, the role of Saudi Arabian women in the Kingdom has drastically changed following a royal decree which bestowed women with a wave of new rights, including taking of empowering position in the KSA’s newly adopted digital transformation strategy with the emergence of tech metropolises, such as NEOM and Vision 2030. And the female role in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 will mark a monumental shift in the country’s path as women take on leading roles in managing the KSA’s mount to the tech scene.
The Kingdom’s ever-increased connections with the West, more specifically the U.S., and now the East with its new deals with China, Saudi Arabia is witnessing robust economic growth and technological developments as it shifts strategies from an oil-reliant country to a tech-reliant one. And with that comes the necessity to invest in much more comprehensive capabilities to fully understand the technological development perceptions and mindsets to accommodate the global digital transformation.
KSA’s extensive developments in economic, social, and cultural ecosystems have placed its women in the center of the country’s positive impact on its citizens, especially when it comes to the world opening up and welcoming Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is an organized and pivotal framework structured to shift the country’s reliance on oil, to diversify its economy, all while empowering its public service sectors, including education, health, tourism, infrastructure, and much more. Vision 2030 will mirror the KSA’s solid political stance towards supporting women by increasing their contribution in economic-driven roles and positions, all while developing the Kingdom’s female capabilities and knowledge in various fields.
The female role in Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 will be the core of the economic reform framework as it aims to increase women’s position from 17 percent to 25 percent in 2020 alone. Whether by finally gaining the right to drive, the freedom to travel independently, access to sports activities, having the first-ever Saudi female ambassador, the right to live alone, serve in the military, and finally rising the rate of female employment in the country, Saudi Arabian women have finally gained the right to enjoy the highest attainable standards of living their lives to new societal and economic criteria.
Vision 2030 is not only be driven by male entrepreneurship, but by that of females too, as it prohibited gender discrimination in accessing financial services by giving them a ferocious responsibility in driving and achieving the Kingdom’s newly risen vision to diversify its economy.
Currently, Saudi Arabian women mark 50 percent of the Kingdom’s population, however, only 20 percent is in the workforce, while Saudi women maintain a much more significant rate when it comes to education degrees. This leaves ample room for the Saudi government to utilize the monumental unused force by unlocking their capacities in specific technological fields further to advance the growth and success of its vision 2030.
To elevate SaudiArabia’s sophisticated digital infrastructure to advance its industrial activities, first, the Kingdom must empower its competitiveness in its economy. This can happen by partnering with the private sector to advance its telecom and information technology sector. In this case, providing the right educational start for females will help drive that growth in the telecom sector, given that the KSA has more than 40 universities – which all teach courses in information communication technology (ICT). The highest enrollment rate in such courses is that of females, as ICT technical schools for females only are spread throughout the Kingdom’s regions.
In its commitment to its Vision 2030 agenda to foster innovative knowledge, the Kingdom is seeking to heighten women’s participation in the labor market by enabling the role of females to accord to the framework’s socio-economic development through heavy participation, and therefore, women could be the main derivates to the vision’s operational excellence, economic proliferation, and improving living standards.