A changing middle east: New jobs for women in Saudi Arabia

For the first time in Saudi Arabia are being allowed to work in pharmacies, herbal medicine stores and optical stores in malls. The new opportunities are part of a plan, called Saudi Vision 2030, to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil by utilizing a traditionally untapped resource: women.

The ultra-conservative, Wahhabi nation, known for having repressive laws surrounding women, has committed itself to increasing female employment rates from 22% to 30% mainly by reforming laws. “They are marketing it as a social reform but it is very much tied to the economic situation in Saudi Arabia,” Adam Coogle, a Middle Eastern researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told The Media Line.

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