Uniform code for women’s work environment launched

Picture shows a view of the new purpose-built Maraya (Arabic for “Mirror”) concert hall hosting the first “Winter at Tantora” music carnival in the ruins of Al-Ula, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northwestern Saudi Arabia. — AFP

RIYADH — A new initiative, launched by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, seeks to empower women and increase their participation in the labor market and in the private sector.

The Ministry launched the Unified Regulation of Women’s Work Environment Initiative to create an attractive working environment for women and to facilitate private sector enterprises to attract and empower women to work.

The Ministry hopes to open several fields for women to work while at the same time providing an attractive and safe work environment for them.

The organization addressed several measures for women’s work, the most important of which is the employer’s commitment to creating a suitable work environment for women, avoiding doing any work to pressure freedom of women in a way that does not conform to labor and local regulations.

It also stressed non-discrimination in wages for employees, both female and male, doing the same work because of their gender, providing a suitable place for female workers to perform prayers, rest and provide them with private toilets.

It also called for providing women with suitable areas and distances to practice their work or separate counters, ensuring privacy and independence in the women’s sections of office working environments not assigned to receive customers, not employing women in cleaning facilities or rooms and carrying bags in relation to the tourist accommodation sector, except those for women only.

The initiative urged the providing of enough security guard or suitable electronic security system in facilities assigned to women, while the number of working women in one shift should not be less than two in the case of presence of male workers, in addition to the non-employment of women in establishments exclusive for men.

The Ministry also prohibited the employment of women in industrial occupations and works that expose them to risks and damages for protecting their safety. It specified the working hours for women at night for various activities until 11 p.m. except for industrial activities until 6 p.m., as well as some activities and other situations where women can work at any hour of the night, such as in hospitals and emergency situations, work in Ramadan and seasons and the central areas in Makkah and Madinah for the establishments. — SPA