A women-only city is being planned for Saudi Arabia. The area made exclusively for women would help please those who follow strict Sharia Law and women who wish to join the work force.
The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) has reportedly been asked to bring the Middle Eastern country up to date by creating a city that would allow women to work without going against Saudi Arabia's Islamic laws. The city is currently being designed and construction will begin in 2013.
As reported by the Russian Times, "The municipality in the Eastern city of Hafuf is expected to attract 500 million riyals (US$133 million) in investments and it will create around 5,000 jobs in the textiles, pharmaceuticals and food processing industries."
"The city is distinguished from other industrial cities for its proximity to residential neighborhoods to facilitate the movement of women to and from the workplace. It is also characterized by allocating sections equipped for women workers in environment and working conditions consistent with the privacy of women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations," according to a statement from the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon).
Under Sharia Law, women are allowed to work, but only 15 percent of the Saudi workforce is female even though 60 percent of university students are women in the country. This may be because a woman's duty as a homemaker, mother, and wife come first before any other priorities.
According to the Daily Mail, there are already some factories that are owned by women in industrial cities of Saudi Arabia, however the new industrial city would be made specifically for women workers.
"We are now working on a second industrial city for women," Modon's deputy director-general, Saleh Al-Rasheed, told Saudi daily newspaper al-Eqtisadiah." We have plans to establish a number of women-only industries in various parts of the kingdom."
Saudi Arabia places heavy restrictions on women. It is the only country that prohibits women from driving. According to The Guardian, the country also has separate universities for women, including the biggest all-female university in the world, offices, restaurants and even separate entrances into public buildings.
Women are not allowed to leave the house, marry, work, study, travel, choose what they wear, or decide to have major surgery without the consent of a male guardian, according to the Guardian.
However some changes are being made. King Abdullah announced that women can vote and run in the local elections starting in 2015. For the first time, women, Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar, were allowed to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.