Saudi women's access to workforce a "human rights issue"

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Young women in the Arab region. (file) Photo: UNDP

Barriers to women's full workplace participation persist in Saudi Arabia, despite UN data showing that economic growth improves with a more diverse workforce.

That's what Muna AbuSulayman, founder and co-host of Kalaem Nawaem, a popular social issues program on Arab television, told Bruce Edwards of the International Monetary Fund or IMF.

In 2012, a decree issued by King Abdullah authorizing women to work in retail, helped transform millions of lives and the recently launched "Vision 2030" poverty reduction programme is encouraging more women to enter the labour market.

However, women still aren't allowed to drive and need permission from male guardians to work and travel.

Ms AbuSulayman told Mr Edwards that Arab women should be free to achieve their goals without cultural or economic barriers.

Duration: 4'10''

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