(MENAFN - Arab News) There are more than 1.6 million unemployed Saudi women, a senior official from the Labor Ministry told a number of local dailies on Wednesday.
Fahd bin Sulaiman Al-Tikhaifi, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Labor for development, said some of them possess high educational qualifications including Ph.D.s and Master's.
"These unemployed women have submitted their CVs to the ministry's employment sites applying for suitable jobs," he said during a presentation at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Al-Tikhaifi explained the applicants included 78 holders of Ph.D. degrees and fellowships, 2,250 with Master's, 11,000 with high diplomas and more than 380,000 with bachelor's.
He said women with diplomas number 74,000 and those with high secondary school certificates were more than 530,000. He added there were 224,000 with intermediate school certificates and 240,000 elementary school certificates.
"More than 178,000 could be considered illiterate," he said.
The official said 16,000 women have applied for jobs in the construction sector, 78,000 in the security sector and 113,000 in the hospitality and services sector.
He described the employment of Saudi women in the private sector as very weak and said large companies sometimes had zero female staff.