Saudi Arabia recently appointed 50 women as public prosecutor investigators for the first time in its history.
On Monday, the women were celebrated during an event held at the Public Prosecution headquarters in Riyadh, attended by the kingdom's Public Prosecutor Sheikh Saud Al-Muajab, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan Bin Rajeh Bin Shaalan, and several other officials.
During his speech, Al-Muajab hailed the country's authorities for bolstering the role of women in key industries.
"Women are being allowed to take up jobs in this key sector for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, thanks to the utmost keenness given to them by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman," he said.
Al-Muajab also noted that the Public Prosecution picked out an elite team of young Saudi men and women to work in the sector. He also stressed that the hiring of this first group of women employees will be followed by similar moves in the next few months.
Though most of the newly hired women have a legal background in Sharia and law, they will still have to undergo a one-year diploma in criminology. The course "includes academic studies and training in the field of work as well as visits to agencies engaged in collecting evidence such as forensic experts to know closely about various aspects of the cases."
Speaking to Arab News, Reham Al-Salom, one woman who was recently appointed to a public prosecution role, spoke of how she spent years trying to get it.
"I tried to apply and work for the public prosecution, but I faced a huge problem because this position wasn't available for women. Five years later, I got my chance," she said.
"I'm honored to represent my country to the world, and glad to have this wonderful experience, which I'm sure is a big responsibility," she added.
Alanoud bin Hamad, another woman who landed a public prosecution job, expressed how excited she was to start working. In a statement, the 24-year-old law graduate from Princess Nourah University told Arab News that the kingdom's Vision 2030 has made the impossible attainable for women.
"I think every Saudi female can achieve her dream now. The doors are wide open for females in every field. I'm really lucky to work in the public prosecution to achieve justice," she explained.
More Saudi women are joining the kingdom's workforce than ever before
Data released by Pew Research Center revealed that Saudi Arabia experienced the highest growth rate among G20 countries of women joining the workforce in the past 20 years.
According to Nawal Abdullah Al-Thabian, a top official at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, around 600,000 Saudi women have recently entered the country's job market. The official added that the ministry recently initiated 68 schemes to facilitate employment opportunities for Saudi women.
Under Vision 2030, more industries have been opening up to Saudi women who are taking up jobs in fields previously deemed off-limit to them including flight attending and taxi driving. Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the ever-transforming footprint aims at diversifying the economy beyond oil and increasing the percentage of Saudi women in the workforce.
With more women hired than ever before, Saudi Arabia's unemployment rate for females has significantly dropped. During the third quarter of 2018, the rates dropped to 30.9 percent among Saudi women from 31.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.