Saudi Women Get Ready to Join Police Force as Traffic Officers

Policewomen will perform as road security observers; Saudi women’s participation in workforce has grown over 48 percent in 5 years

AL-BILAD: People driving along streets in Saudi Arabia are soon going to be spotting women traffic police officers monitoring the roads.

Policewomen have been getting vigorous training and rehabilitation sessions in preparation for their appointment as road security observers, local media outlets reported on Tuesday.

The country’s Public Security and special road safety forces have been setting up offices for women traffic officers who are readying themselves to take up posts in Riyadh, Qasim, Najran, and Tabuk.

The workspaces are set to be used by policewomen while they carry out their assignments of “observing the road safety for motorists and pedestrians.”

Women officers will be provided with all the equipment and technology necessary to ensure their safety while on duty.

Police roles were previously deemed off-limits for women. The news comes at a time when Saudi women are successfully launching into fields that were once male-dominated in the kingdom.

In 2017, the country officially announced it would be allowing women to join its police force. In 2018, the kingdom also opened soldier rank positions to women and more posts within the army are now available to them.

Just a few years back, so many fields of work were led by men. But as the country transforms under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030, things have been rapidly changing.

One of the main goals of the ambitious blueprint is to increase the percentage of women in the workforce and so far it has been pretty successful at doing just that. The scheme has led new industries to open to Saudi women who are now taking the kingdom’s job market by storm and joining the local workforce in record-breaking numbers.

The most recent official statistics revealed that the number of Saudi females working in both public and private sectors reached a total of 596,700 in the first quarter of 2019, rising by 282.5 percent. This year, 440,700 women started working compared to 156,000 in 2018.

Data released by Pew Research Center also revealed that Saudi Arabia experienced the highest growth rate among G20 countries of women joining the workforce in the past 20 years.