The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, said that the Kingdom has embarked on an unprecedented reform journey to empower women and support their participation in national development.
He added that the country was proud of the distinguished work of the Women 20 group, within the framework of the G20, which is currently chaired by Riyadh.
In a speech to the W20 Summit on Wednesday, delivered by Acting Information Minister, Dr. Majed al-Qasabi, King Salman praised the group’s remarkable work during this exceptional period ‘despite the circumstances imposed on us by the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic’.
‘Women are the main source of development in any society. Hence, without empowered women, it is almost impossible to implement any societal reforms… Throughout history, they have proven their remarkable role in leading change and in decision making’, he emphasized.
The King noted that the general goal of Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 is ‘to seize the opportunities of the 21st century for all’, with a focus on three axes: ‘Creating the appropriate conditions that enable people, especially women and youth, to live decently, work and prosper; preserving the planet by promoting joint efforts to protect global resources; and shaping new horizons by adopting bold and long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological progress’.
King Salman also emphasized that the Saudi presidency of the G20 has given special attention to discussing policies related to women across different ministerial and working group meetings.
‘The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the President of the G20 this year, commends the remarkable work of the Women 20 Engagement Group (W20) and the outcomes of their meetings. And here, it is worth mentioning that women play a crucial role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic globally by working on the frontlines, as they represent more than 70% of healthcare workers’, he stated.
King Salman added that the Kingdom was convinced that a sound economic recovery ‘can only be achieved through comprehensive economic and social programs for women, aimed at achieving gender equity and providing possible opportunities for success.’
He continued: ‘We must not forget our commitment to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals related to women at the international level, enhancing the readiness of our countries for a bright economic future requires a holistic approach to empower women in the different economic, social, health, educational, technical, cultural, entertainment, sports, and other fields.
The King concluded his speech by thanking the members of the W20 Engagement Group and the participating delegations and organizations ‘for the great efforts they made throughout the year’.
He also thanked Al Nahda Association for ‘leading the Women 20 this year as a representative of the Saudi and international women’s voice with all devotion and dedication’.