Recently Saudi Arabia government has opened up the armed forces for Women. Following the order, the female recruitment can now trade their abayas for military uniforms.

  • Saudi Women will now be recruited as soldiers, lance corporals, corporals, sergeants, and staff sergeants.
  • Saudi government has also added some additional criteria for female applicants.
  • This Saudi government move aims to increase the rights of women in the country.
  • The plan to allow women in the armed forces was first announced in 2019.

Criteria for the Women recruitment

  • The Saudi female applicants are required to pass admission procedures in accordance with the specified conditions,
  • Saudi female should have a clean record.
  • Saudi female must be medically fit for service.
  • Females should age between 21 and 40 years old.
  • 155 cm height or taller has been prescribed for the recruitment.
  • Further, the women should not be a government employee.
  • Females are required to hold an independent national identity card.
  • She must have acquired at least a high school education.
  • However, the applicants married to non-Saudi citizens will not be eligible for the army recruitment.

Women’s rights in the Saudi Arabia

The Rights of the women in Saudi Arabia have been limited when compared to the rights of women in many of its neighbouring countries. There is a strict interpretation and application of sharia law in the country. However, in 2017, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed the Crown Prince. Since then, he has been bringing a series of social reforms witnessing the women’s rights.

Status of the Women

As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2016 by World Economic Forum, the Saudi Arabia was ranked at 141 out of 144 countries with respect to gender parity. The UN Economic and Social Council had elected Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for 2018–2022. This move was also widely criticised by the international community. As of 2019, Women just constituted 34.4 per cent of the native workforce in the country. In the recent times, they have started various campaign that resulted in the improvements to their status.

Key decisions for women empowerment

  1. In 2015, Women were allowed to vote in elections.
  2. They were also allowed to be appointed in the consultative assembly in the year 2015.
  3. In the year 2017, women were allowed to access the government services like health and education.
  4. Saudi government allowed women to drive in the year 2017.
  5. In the year 2019, women were given right to register the divorce.
  6. In the year 2019, marriage age was capped at and above 18 years.
  7. In the year 2021, it was decided that women can now be appointed as court judge.

Saudi Arabia women can join armed forces Saudi Arabia women can join armed forces