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In Pictures: First Female Saudi Umrah, Hajj guards serve at Grand Mosque

As Saudi Arabia seeks to promote gender equality within the kingdom, for the first time ever, it has appointed female Umrah and Hajj guards who will be stationed at the Grand Mosque.

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Saudi Interior Ministry on Monday published the photos of female Umrah and Hajj guards serving at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, in a historic move.

The pictures show the women security guards on duty for the first time in the Grand Mosque. The pictures show women security guards dressed up in uniform providing security to staff and pilgrims. Taking to Twitter, the ministry captioned the post: “From the field, security of Hajj and Umrah.”

Pictures gained massive traction on social media with people praising the Saudi government for accommodating women security guards at the holy mosque.

The move came as part of the grand reforms by the Saudi government to address the gender inequality in the country.

 

Read more: Munir Akram praises Saudi Arabia’s effort to promote women participation

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Earlier last February, the Saudi Defence Ministry had announced that men and women in the kingdom can apply for positions in the military through a unified admissions portal. Kingdom had announced to recruit women as corporals, soldiers, lance corporals, sergeants, and staff sergeants.

The decision was taken to modernize the Saudi society part of Vision 20230 by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Prince Mohammed has sought to boost employment for women as part of his “Vision 2030” plan, which is aimed at diversifying the kingdom’s economy and ending its addiction to oil.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman extended a passel of new rights to women: the right to travel without a male relative’s permission, to receive equal treatment in the workplace, and to obtain family documents from the government. Together, they were a significant blow against a system that has long treated women as second-class citizens.

Read more: Saudi Arabia expands role of women in the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina

In December 2020, General Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques had appointed nearly 1500 employees in different departments to serve female visitors.

600 women were placed in the Technical and Service Affairs Agency. The rest of the females will be placed in other departments of the presidency such as vehicles, Zamzam watering units, guidance and intellectual affairs, administrative affairs, public relations, media and communications, and the General Department of Auditing.

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