Women's Average Salary in Saudi Arabia Has Exceeded That of Men for the First Time, Report Says

© REUTERS / Faisal Al NasserSaudi women leave a polling station after casting their votes during municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 12, 2015
Saudi women leave a polling station after casting their votes during municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 12, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2021
The past decade saw women in Saudi Arabia, a deeply conservative Muslim nation, enjoy more and more freedoms. Authorities allowed women to vote in elections, lifted the ban on driving cars, which had been in place since the 1970s and eased some provisions of the male guardianship law.
Women's average salary in Saudi Arabia has exceeded that of men for the first time, Saudi Gazette writes, citing a report from the newspaper Al-Watan. The article, which is based on data from government ministries, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, says the average monthly salary for women stood at 4,105 riyals (over $1,094) compared to men's 3,944 riyals ($1,053) in the second half of 2020.
According to the report, the salaries of women have registered a growth on an annual basis. However, the data shows that the problem of a gender pay gap remains in place. Thus, the average salaries of men in the private sector was $1,820 compared to that $1,190 for their female counterparts.
Unprecedented changes have occurred in conservative Saudi Arabia in the past decade, partly due to reforms that guaranteed more freedom to women. They have been allowed to drive cars, travel abroad, serve in the army, vote in elections as well as access basic services such as education without the need for consent from a male guardian. Most recently, the government allowed women to live alone without permission from a guardian.
Authorities also introduced a programme to create a comfortable work environment for women. This and other reforms were part of the Vision 2030 Agenda introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. It's aim is to refocus Riyadh's image on the international arena and reform the country's economy, which is preparing for a post-oil era.
When the strategic framework was introduced in 2016 it predicted that women's involvement in the country's labour force would increase from 20 to 30 percent by 2030. According to Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Statistics, the target was met in just two years and by the end of 2020, the share of women in the labour force stood at 33 percent.
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