13:19 GMT26 October 2020
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    Saudi women are gaining more opportunities for work and self-fulfilment. Today they can serve in the police and army. Saudi women have talked to Sputnik about why they like taking dangerous jobs and what else they still need to be happy.

    A Great Deal Has Been Done

    Alaa az-Zahrani, a university graduate from Riyadh, told Sputnik that “the Saudi government is seeking to strengthen women’s role in society, according to the Vision 2030 development programme. Much has already been done; for example, in 2009, a woman was appointed a deputy minister, and in 2013, women joined the Majlis al-Shura (or Advisory Council, legislative body).

    Indeed, women have long been working for the good of the state and society. In 2019, for the first time in the kingdom’s history, a woman was appointed ambassador.

    Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became head of the diplomatic mission in the United States. And in the future, opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia will only grow”.

    What do Women Want?

    “Women and girls want to serve in the police and army in order to be useful to their homeland. Moreover, traffic regulation and police need female employees. I also want to serve my state, my people, and my family. The government supported me; they made it possible for me to study at the world’s best universities. Now it’s my turn to repay the debt”, Dr Alaa az-Zahrani added.

    “I’ve wanted to serve in the army or the police since I was a child. Many women and girls dream of selflessly serving their homeland. I hope that in the near future their dreams will come true. Today, speaking about their job in state institutions, women can say they’re ‘service members’; but in reality, no one has yet joined the army”, Leen al Fadel, a student at Saudi Electronic University, told Sputnik.

    “I really like the changes in our society. Today a woman can answer for herself and not depend on others. All the kingdom’s residents are proud of it”, Lin al-Fadel said.

    Admission Conditions

    In early 2018, the Saudi State Security Administration announced the start of the admission of women into military service in seven of the country’s regions. Women with secondary and higher education can join the army as “soldiers”.

    The age of recruits should be from 25 to 35; they should be more than 155 cm tall, and their weight should be average. A woman shouldn’t work for a public institution, or be married to a foreigner. A woman should have housing and a guardian in the same area where she intends to serve.

    army, Police, women, Saudi Arabia
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