Saudi women have been recently encouraged to work in what were previously thought to be male-dominated fields.

Over the weekend, two Saudi women working in an automobile spare parts store in Jeddah had people wondering whether such jobs are fit for women. Identified as Ayesha Al Mutairi and Fawzia Al Ghamdi, the working women were mentioned in an article published by Okaz Newspaper.

Speaking to the local daily, the women said they took up eight-hour morning shifts at the store.

They also explained that though the profession is new to women, the opportunity is allowing them to gain experience and form a better understanding of business.

The women's story comes months after the kingdom launched training programs for women interested in working in car inspection and maintenance.

Last year, local officials announced plans to establish special vehicle maintenance centers where female mechanics will assist female drivers. 

Though the field has officially been opened up to women, people in the kingdom still consider it inappropriate for women to take up jobs in male-dominated fields. Others believe such service jobs aren't fit for Saudis regardless of gender and should only be taken up by expats.

"We no longer know if this is women empowerment or a way to humiliate and insult women"

Many were against women taking up such jobs

"This isn't the right place for a Saudi woman to be. There are professions better suited for women."

Others thought these professions aren't for Saudis in general

"Instead of seeing our women in high-ranking positions in all fields, we're shocked to see them hired in places that aren't suitable for Saudis."

However, not everyone agreed with that

"Good on you girls, may God grant you success." 

"Saudis' hearts only break over a woman when she gets a job"

"It isn't shameful to work"

"They must've chosen this experience. It isn't a profession that's limited to men only. All around the world, you'll find women working in similar jobs. Everyone trusts Saudi women and they're able to work in every industry." 

Under Vision 2030, more professions have been opening up to Saudi women

With Vision 2030, more Saudi women are taking up jobs in new fields, such as flight attendants and taxi drivers. 

Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ever-transforming footprint aims to diversify the economy beyond oil and increase the percentage of Saudi women in the workforce.

In recent months, the kingdom's General Directorate of Passports announced it will start recruiting women to work at airports and land border-crossing points. Even though there were only 140 job openings, over 107,000 women applied.

Last year, Director General of Traffic Mohammed Al Bassami announced that women will soon be joining the traffic police forces.

In October last year, the country created 80,000 jobs for Saudi women after it limited women's clothing stores' jobs to nationals only.

During that same month, Saudi officials announced that the Gulf state's Air Navigation Services Company (SANS) was planning to employ women as air traffic controllers for the first time in the country's history.

In August 2018, Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation issued local pilot licenses to five Saudi women for the first time ever.