Policy of non-discrimination against women 

The principle of equality, which is essentially in contrast to discrimination, including discrimination against women, which is set out in Article (8) of the Basic Law of Governance, stipulating: “The system of government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is established on the foundation of justice, Shura (consultation) and equality in compliance with Islamic Shariah” and which is implicitly contained in Article (26) of the same Law which stipulates: “The State shall protect human rights in accordance with Islamic Shariah” in addition to other principles and provisions of the Basic Law of Governance and the Kingdom’s laws derived from it – is consistent with the relevant international standards. These provisions criminalize discrimination and violence against women and are implemented by institutions established or supported for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights, including women’s rights, such as the Human Rights Commission, the National Society for Human Rights and other institutions, as well as the existing government agencies.

It should be noted that absolute equality between men and women is observed in most areas of human rights such as the right to work, education, health, economic rights and others.

Regarding equality between men and women and the fight against discrimination in employment, the Labor Law does not differentiate between men and womenin rights and duties, nor does it draw any distinction in equal pay for work of equal value and quality. The Kingdom is a party to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 100 concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value and Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation. The Ministerial Decision no. 2370/1, dated 18/8/1431H, corresponding to 28/08/2010, was issued to prohibit any discrimination in wages between male and female workers for work of equal value. There is full equality between men and women as regards the jobseeker’s allowance, where women receive the same amount as men, as well as in the training and employment assistance provided by the Human Resources Development Fund to men and women employed in the private sector, both in terms of the amount of subsidy for training costs, wages or duration of assistance. The Labor Law has taken into account the nature of women and has assigned a full section to them (Part 9), which includes additional provisions relating to women’s employment in the private sector so as to provide further protection to them. 

The Labor Law was amended by Royal Decree No. (M/134), dated 27/11/1440H, to ensure equality between men and women in rights and duties, and in-service conditions. Article (3) of the Labor Law states that work is the right of every citizen and that people must not be discriminated against on the basis of sex, as well as equality in the retirement age between men and women (60 years). The amendments also entailed prohibiting the dismissal or dismissal with a notice of a female worker during her pregnancy, maternity leave or during illness resulting from either pregnancy or delivery. Likewise, the Social Insurance Law has been amended, particularly Article (38), in order to achieve equality between men and women in terms of the retirement age, which has become (60) years for both sexes.

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