The Council of Saudi Chambers is reportedly preparing plans to ‘feminise’ the kingdom’s restaurant sector by limiting roles to Saudi women.
The project forms part of government efforts to decrease the unemployment of Saudi nationals by barring foreign workers from some job roles.
The General Authority of Statistics said unemployment among Saudis remained stable at 12.8 per cent in the third quarter. However, the rate is believed to be as high as 33 per cent among women.
Arabic publication Al-Madinah reports that feminisation plans for the restaurant and hotel kitchen sector are being led by Princess Nourah Bint Mohammad, the wife of the emir of Riyadh.
During a recent meeting, a spokesperson said 16 restaurants will hire women for an initial trial.
“We will hold a workshop with restaurant owners to discuss strategies to hire more women in the sector,” head of the initiating team Huda Al-Jiraisi was quoted as saying.
The council aims to increase women’s contribution to the labour market from 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030.
Initiatives are being undertaken across the kingdom to provide job opportunities for women including the third phase of a plan to feminise roles in shops selling women’s clothing and accessories that began in October.
The labour ministry is also providing up to 80 per cent of transport costs for female workers, who face difficulties getting to and from work, as the kingdom prepares to lift its female driving ban in June.