Two new initiatives to increase Saudi women in the workforce

Saudi Arabia’s Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) have introduced 2 initiatives to increase Saudi female participation in the private sector and decrease unemployment. The two initiatives Wusool and Qurrah will assist women in creating stable careers whilst balancing family and lifestyle.

The Wusool initiative will provide women with stable and affordable transport to and from their workplace. It will increase job stability and reduce the unemployment rate of women in the Kingdom. Difficulty finding transportation, that is also affordable, has long been a factor preventing women from participating in the workforce.

However, this initiative provides a subsidy for Saudi women in the workforce, aged 18-65, who are earning 5000 riyals or less and registered in GOSI for a year or less. The subsidy period is 18 months (from the service start date), the beneficiary will pay a minimum of 200 riyals per month for her transport and then the subsidy will take effect, starting with 80% and a maximum of 800 riyals per month.

The subsidy will take the following structure:

  • 1-6 months: 80% coverage
  • 7-12 months: 60% coverage
  • 13-18 months: 40% coverage

Qurrah, on the other hand, is for Saudi working mothers who are trying to balance full time employment and family life. The initiative aims to improve the child care service environment in the Kingdom, help women overcome barriers in the workplace with work-life balance, increase access to data on available child care service through an online portal, increase training of workers in child care centres and offer different types of child care centres to improve efficiency in the sector.

Participating mothers will be required to pay a fixed 200 riyals per month per child whilst the subsidy will cover 80% of the cost, up to 800 riyals per month per child. The subsidy is available for a maximum of 4 years and will gradually decrease as follows:

  • First year: 80% coverage
  • Second year: 60% coverage
  • Third year: 50% coverage
  • Fourth year: 40% coverage

Those eligible must be a Saudi national female, earning 8000 riyals or less and registered in GOSI. A maximum of two children will be eligible for the subsidy and registration for the subsidy can be done through the Taqat portal.