Factory girlsFactory girls

Saudi Arabia to found women-only town

Factory complex to employ only female workers in hopes of integrating them into kingdom’s industrial expansion

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A veiled woman walks in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.(photo credit: AP Photo/Aya Batrawy, File)
A veiled woman walks in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.(photo credit: AP Photo/Aya Batrawy, File)

Saudi Arabia is developing an industrial city which would only employ women, the kingdom announced ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday.

According to a report by Arab News, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority launched the project earlier this month in Yanbu.

At first, an all-female factory will be set up in the city, employing 50 Saudi women in producing garments, gold and jewelry, dates, medical supplies, packaging services, toys, or traditional handicrafts, as part of a Saudi governmental strategy to diversify income sources in the kingdom.

If everything goes according to plan, more female-only plants will be built over an area of 500,000 square meters. The complex will include a medical center, sports center, recreational area, park, government building, shopping center, hotel and gas station.

Convenient public transportation, nurseries and training institutes will serve the employees of the plant.

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman laid the foundation stone for the factory Tuesday. The royal was thanked profusely by Modon director-general Saleh al-Rasheed, who said Faisal had approved the project in record time – a single week – and “personally supervised” the initiative.

“The project will be the first of its kind representing an industrial oasis in Yanbu, and will include a plant employing only females,” al-Rasheed said. “This will enhance the role of industry in supporting women.”

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