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Saudi Women Assemble Trucks For Mercedes-Benz

Conservative Saudi Arabia has made history in women empowerment by training 13 Saudi women to assemble trucks for Mercedes-Benz and its Jeddah partner, thereby enabling them to enter a male-dominated job in the oil-rich Kingdom.

Juffali Automotive Company Chairman Khaled Juffali made the announcement during a visit by Commerce & Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah to the assembly unit, the Arab News reported on Monday.

The company, which produces 5,000 trucks annually in Jeddah in a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz, trained the 13 women in technical work assembly of light parts of heavy machinery. "We are the first pioneers in automobile industry who took the initiative of training women in this field, complying with the Shariah, at our training center," the newspaper quoted a top company official as saying.

The first group of female learners is now working with the company as full-time employees, and it plans to hire more female students who are interested in learning and eventually working at the company. The company also proposed to expand its factory and make a separate section for female workers.

"We began with only five women. We now have almost 15. We took the initiative so we can better serve the country and nation. We don't differentiate between men and women in terms of salary and other benefits. All our employees are equal to us, the official said."

by RTT Staff Writer

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