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Saudi security college to accept women at rank of private

Saudi security college to accept women at rank of private

The announcement comes a year after the kingdom first allowed women to join the army

For the first time, women will be admitted and registered at the rank of private at Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd Security College.

The kingdom’s Ministry of the Interior announced that applications will be received between 10am on Sunday, February 10, to 10am on Thursday, February 14, for a place at the Women’s Security Training Institute.

Applications must be Saudi born and raised, except for those who grew up with their father while he was serving the state outside the kingdom. They should also have a good reputation and conduct, and have no criminal convictions, reported local media.

Other requirements are that they should not have previously been appointed to a civilian job or posts subject to the military service system, and should not have been disqualified by a military institute. Applicants must also hold an independent, valid national ID card, be between the ages of 21 and 35, be not less than 160cm tall, and pass a medical exam, interview, written tests and all admission stages.

The Riyadh-based college educates and trains students in security and military-related disciplines, with graduates typically working for institutes such as the Ministry of the Interior, police force, civil defence, immigration services, and correctional facilities, among others.

The acceptance of women into the college comes a year after Saudi Arabia allowed women to apply for positions in the army for the first time.

In February 2018, women were given one week to apply for positions with the rank of soldier in the provinces of Riyadh, Makkah, Al Qassim, and Medina. The roles did not involve combat, rather giving the opportunity to work in security.

The move was one of several reforms designed to improve women’s rights in the kingdom. In June last year the ban on female drivers was lifted, and a few months earlier – in January 2018 – women were were allowed to attend football matches for the first time. In February last year women were given the right to start a business without a male guardian’s permission, and in September airline Flynas announced plans to recruit Saudi women as co-pilots.

The role of women in Saudi Arabia is a key aspect of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification plans, with ambitions to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent. Initiatives such as Qurra, to support childcare services for working women, and Wusul, to support the transfer of working women, are two among the numerous programmes aimed at delivering this goal.

The country’s National Transition 2020 programme also contains 36 strategic objectives to support empowerment, independence and self-reliance of Saudi women.

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