The IMF: Saudi Arabia has made remarkable progress in employing women … a significant increase in two years

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Kristalina Georgieva, Director General of the International Monetary Fund, confirmed that Saudi Arabia has made remarkable progress in employing women, explaining that in just two years, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of Saudi women who work or seek to find work.
Georgieva added, “The Kingdom has introduced legislation against discrimination in the workplace, and has prohibited wage discrimination based on gender, age, or other unrelated factors.”
She indicated that the smart enforcement of these measures will be the final determinant of success, pointing out that there are additional measures required, but there is important progress on the way to verification.
This came during her co-chairing, together with Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, the G20 event under the presidency of Saudi Arabia, on enhancing opportunities for Arab countries, yesterday.
The fund’s general manager’s talk about the employment of women comes as part of its call for Arab countries to work in three areas that increase the availability of opportunities, stressing that the decisions taken now will affect the lives of more than 420 million Arabs for years and decades to come, and qualifying them for a rapidly changing global economy is the work of today, and it should not Postpone.
She said, “We must work on basic areas that include social spending, youth and women employment, and bridging digital divides.”
She stated, “We must initiate action, because the region and the world are going through a moment of transformation. As we face the adverse currents resulting from the pandemic, we are receiving at least some favorable winds thanks to the continued spending to combat it, and the rapid digital transformation that we are witnessing worldwide.”
With regard to improving health and social safety nets, she mentioned that this could be financed through progressive taxes on income, property and goods. Prioritizing spending and raising efficiency would also help in this regard, adding that “preventable child deaths will decrease, the number of girls who are not illiterate will increase, and the number of people living in poverty will decrease.”
She added, “Despite the great progress, health and education results in this region are not at the level of results achieved by similar countries in other regions, where there is an efficiency gap.”
She added, “If the Arab countries get more value for the money they actually spend, then the fund’s estimates indicate that the Arab world can fill a third of the health and education gap without any new spending. However, some Arab countries spend efficiently, including their own spending.” For the purposes of facing the pandemic. “
As for increasing employment of youth and women, she said, “This will help in this area to address the mismatch between available and required skills, remove gender-based restrictions, and enhance health care for children and other means of support,” praising the Kingdom’s role in this field.
The third area to move without delay is bridging digital divides, indicating that increasingly, access to the Internet has become a means to access health, education, trade, services, financial and government benefits, stressing, “In short, access to the Internet is really access to opportunity.”
She explained that investment is required in the physical and human components that underpin the digital infrastructure – training programmers and engineers, in addition to building fiber-optic cables and internet towers. Digital access has clear advantages: Morocco, for example, provides cash benefits to 85 percent of eligible informal workers, using cell phones.
On how the fund would provide assistance, she stated that “just as every Arab country works to adapt such policies to suit its own needs, the fund is ready to help.”
“We provide policy assistance, whether on a bilateral basis or through research, as is the case with our report on Enhancing Access to Opportunities, issued last May, and the study we released yesterday entitled Social Expenditure for Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia,” she said.
She emphasized supporting capacity development, to help put research into practice, as well as providing funding where needed.
“We have provided additional loans to eight Arab countries this year, with a total credit of 26 billion US dollars to the region. We are in a position to provide more.”
“As we prepare for our annual meetings, Marrakech 2021, we are cooperating with the Arab world to discuss how to encourage a more inclusive recovery for all, as well as greener, fairer and smarter,” she added.





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