Mashael Al Qahtani

Mashael Al Qahtani

Journalist

Saudi women run and operate mineral water plant

A mineral water company has announced the inauguration of a factory in Saudi Arabia, with a totally female staff of managers and laborers.

Immediately after the factory’s inauguration by the Byron Company, women were appointed to run the factory, so that they would be able to work in a convenient environment. The company decided that the factory would be managed by females who would supervise and develop production lines which are also operated by women.

Mrs. Al-Jawhara Al-Khalidi is the factory director who follows up on all operation processes while others monitor packaging, sterilization, manage production lines, receiving cartons, and arranging and packing them.

Media reports revealed that the company brought a special team from Germany to train Saudi women to manage the entire factory on their own.

Byron has already inaugurated a factory for potable water which depends totally on Saudi women and the success of this trial has encouraged the company to repeat it with the new mineral water plant.

New fields

Managing a mineral water plant is not the first field which Saudi women have recently joined. They have already entered other traditionally male dominated fields such as carpentry and plumbing, and owning private projects like cafes, restaurants and beauty salons.

In early January 2018, Saudi Mervat Bukhari ended men's domination of managing the country's petrol stations when she established the first integrated digital fuel station in Saudi Arabia.

Bukhari said in previous statements that the purpose of the station is to provide a model that takes into account citizens’ and residents’ needs in terms of cleanliness and quality standards as well as services offered, which can be emulated in future gas stations.

Bukhari decided to open the station shortly after the Royal Decree was announced allowing women to drive. She rightly anticipated that Saudi women will have to refuel their cars and, therefore, women must be available in the driving service sector, most of which is gas stations, so as to provide them with the sense of safety and comfort.

Alongside these inroads, Saudi women are serving in many government senior posts, notably Tomader bint Youssef Al-Rumah, who has been appointed as Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Development.

Investment without restrictions

The Saudi Ministry of Trade and Investment has recently allowed women to set up their own businesses and obtain services from governmental institutions without the need of their guardian’s consent.

In the past, women had to get their guardian’s consent when working in business, and this could be their father, brother or husband.

This step will significantly support the Saudi private sector, especially bearing in mind the massive increase in the percentage of qualified Saudi women who are capable of working and managing projects. In the past, they did not work due to the lack of clear laws regulating their role and protecting their rights, but now the floodgates are opening.

Women in this article

Tumder bint Yousef Al-Rumah is the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

Businesswoman, poet and media personality Mervat Bukhari is the first Saudi woman to run and work at a petrol station in Saudi Arabia.

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