Eman El-Kallaf

Eman El-Kallaf


Saudi women demand military jobs and citizenship rights

For many years the rights of Saudi women have been suppressed. Among these were the right to drive a vehicle and to be allowed to participate in the fields of military and entertainment. These rights have remained out of reach. However, in 2017 Saudi women witnessed radical transformation, whenopportunities started opening up to them. Not even the most optimistic could have imagined the changes that were announced within the framework of a social reformation plan by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

Despite their improved status introduced last year, Saudi women have further demands regarding their rights in the Kingdom. Calls for these rights have spread across social networks, especially since the recent changes lifting the ceiling formore ambitious Saudi women.

Saudi nationality for children

Online retailer Karima Hemdan Al-Rabei pointed out that among women's rights still sought, is the right to pass their nationality on to their children. Accordingly, some Shura Council (i.e. the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia) members have submitted a proposal to amend the citizenship law, allowing Saudi women the right to pass citizenship on to their children in cases where the husband is a foreigner.

The children of Saudi women should enjoy the privilege of Saudi citizenship. Accordingly, studies will need to be conducted to establish the best way forward for implementing this right, with respect to public welfare and in the best interests of the Kingdom.

New Occupations

Improvement in women's rights has led some to request the right of admission to new areas of economic activity in the labor market.

Laila Al-Ghamdi, a Saudi housewife and says that women will most certainly look to work as drivers after the Royal decree in September 2017, allowing women to drive a car in accordance with Islamic Sharia (i.e. confirming to modest dress code and not mixing with men).
In the wake of the announcement, taxi companies like Kareem and Uber have stated that they will be employing women as drivers.

Al-Ghamdi claims that women are already preparing themselves to benefit financially by learning to drive professionally beyond merely for themselves and relatives, which speaks to a need for driving schools for women and female instructors.

Jawhara Al-Rashidi, a student at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, has higher ambitions for women. She points outthat there are many women who work in the Saudi Military sector, at the women’s section of the General Department of Prisons and the Passport section.All are military sectors affiliated to the Saudi Ministry of Interiorwhere the highest rank of women is that ofSergeant.

Al-Rashidi believes that with the new Royal dispensationmore women willbe engaged in military posts across various sections soon, and that there will be opportunities for women to rise in rank toOfficers.

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