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King Salman highlights role of women in national development ‘Saudi Arabia has embarked on unprecedented reform journey to empower women'
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 22 - 10 - 2020

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has embarked on an exceptional reform journey, as witnessed by the international community, to empower women and support their participation in national development through this inclusive approach, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said on Wednesday.
He also said that the Kingdom is proud of the Women 20 Engagement Group's distinguished efforts across their various tracks, and welcomes their recommendations, in line with Saudi Arabia's inclusive approach to empower women.
King Salman made the remarks in a speech read out on his behalf by Saudi Acting Minister of Media Majid Al-Qasabi at the end of the W20, the G20 women's engagement group, on Wednesday.
He also that the Saudi G20 presidency has accorded special attention to discussing policies related to women in order to ensure their participation in the decision-making process.
At the outset of his speech, King Salman said: "I would like to express my gratitude to the W20 for their remarkable efforts and commitment to deliver their agenda during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
He highlighted the role of women in the development of any society and underlined the need to empower them.
"Women are the source of progress in any society. Without empowered women, it is difficult to reform society. Over the ages, women have proven themselves to be leaders of change," King Salman said.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques commended the crucial role played by women in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic as they represent more than 70 percent of healthcare workers
King Salman extended his sincere gratitude to all the women and men who risk their lives to protect others and provide essential services during these unprecedented circumstances.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also highlighted the efforts of the G20 under the Saudi presidency in mitigating the negative impact on the pandemic in the global economy.
Referring to the G20 extraordinary virtual leaders' summit held in March, King Salman said the leaders agreed on several commitments and decisions that contributed to advancing international cooperation by focusing on safeguarding lives and livelihoods.
He said that the global leaders decided to inject over $11 trillion to support the global economy in the fight against COVID-19 and its implications. G20 members also pledged over $21 billion to support the research, development, and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
King Salman also said that Saudi Arabia strongly believes that a sound economic recovery to overcome the impacts of the current pandemic cannot be achieved without comprehensive social and economic programs for women that achieve gender equality and create opportunities that enable success.
"Along with our commitment and focus on overcoming this pandemic, we should not forget our commitment to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to women at the global level, King Salman stressed.
"Enhancing the preparedness of our countries for a brighter future requires an inclusive approach that empowers women in the economic, social, health, educational, technological, cultural, entertainment, and sports sectors, among others," he added.

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