Saudi Arabia to recruit first ever women border guards

Saudi Arabia to recruit first ever women border guards
The recruitment announcement is part of a wave of reforms granting women basic human rights in order to bring the kingdom into the 21st century.
2 min read
11 June, 2018
Saudi Arabia announced it would hire women for vacant military positions [File photo: Getty]
Saudi Arabia is advertising jobs seeking women as border guards.

The kingdom's General Directorate of Border Guards has announced plans to hire women for vacant military positions, to be stationed in Riyadh, Jazan, Makkah, the northern border and Tabuk.

To be eligible for the job, applicants must be Saudi, well behaved, aged between 25 and 35, not have a criminal record and meet qualification requirements, according to a statement from the directorate, issued on Sunday.

Other conditions include that they are at least 160cm tall for fieldwork and 155cm tall for office work, with weight proportional to their height, and not married to a non-Saudi now or in the future, reported Gulf Business.

It was not made clear whether female recruits would need their male guardian's permission to apply, in compliance with the kingdom's draconian guardianship laws.

In February, Saudi Arabia announced it will be recruiting women to its armed forces for the first time. 

In the same month, the public prosecutor's office said it would begin recruiting women investigators.

The loosening of restrictions on women's rights in Saudi Arabia is being touted as part of a wave of reforms aiming to bring the ultra-conservative kingdom into the twenty-first century, but women still face some of the most oppressive customs in the world.

Reforms have come under fire from human rights defenders, who have lambasted them as a superficial guise of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's growing authoritarianism.

The highly anticipated move to allow women to drive from June 24, has been slammed as purely cosmetic alterations to the country's image, after eleven female activists - among them women were detained amid a sweeping crackdown on critical voices of the ruling regime.