Qatif meat plant hires Saudi women

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Monday, August 13, 2012

A group of Saudi women have broken social barriers by working in a meat plant in Qatif. This has traditionally been a job only for men.

The women are processing 62 local meat products that are supplied to homes, restaurants and hotels.

Providing the right environment

In an interview with Al Jazeerah newspaper, Mohammad Hassan, chairman of the Khair Zad project, explained that the project started training women after opening a women's section in the plant. He said that it had used to be a small butchery, but after developing it into a larger plant they had opened a new women's section. They had received 300 applications from women of different social backgrounds, but preferred to hire women from low-income backgrounds. They had not required any certificates from them, they only askeded them to pass health requirements.

Hassan said the lack of commitment and absenteeism in the men's section had pushed the plant to open the women's section. They had trained and qualified these women in manufacturing, packing and meat safety. They had removed all obstacles in their way. They cancelled the women’s night shift and had them working on a day shift from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in appreciation for social considerations. They also provided them with transportation. This job helped them improve their lives, he stressed.

Hassan said the plant could begin exporting meat to neighboring countries with the help of the newly opened section.

More opportunites for women

Hana Zuhair, CEO of Prince Sultan Fund for Women Project, commented on the plant's achievement saying, that this would open more opportunities for women to be real partners with men in manufacturing and any other suitable jobs. Saudi women had proved they could produce when given the opportunity away from more traditional jobs.

Wadeah Elawi, a woman at the plant, said that the obstacles she has faced have strengthened her willingness and insistence to prove that women are capable of giving and producing in any project that provides the right environment for them.
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