RIYADH: In a deeply conservative culture, Saudi women are carefully redefining the boundaries of public life.
Nahed Mohammad Taher, an economic analyst has set a good example for the women in Saudi. Nahed the co-founder and CEO of the Gulf One Investment Bank, an investment bank for financing and infrastructure and alternative energy projects worldwide in compliance with Shariah principles which has its headquarters in Bahrain and operates in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Kuwait.
She was the first Saudi woman to work as senior economist for National Commercial Bank at the main headquarters of a bank amid thousands of men.
She studied economics at the best local and international universities; she obtained a PhD in economics from Lancaster University School of Management.
Nahed said: “My ambition is to see the Saudi economy gain 20 percent per annum in real terms, and the unemployment rate drop to 1 percent. I actually have a special plan for that which makes this achievable.”
She also said that the “oil economy in its present situation can create 400,000 jobs during the next four years. The country badly needs 2 million jobs during this same period, and creating them represents the biggest challenge for the Kingdom”, she said.
Taher, a banking and financial expert, confirms that the economic disciplines in the Saudi universities are still on the conceptual side and it needs more concern.
She also said that the banking sector in the Kingdom is still limited in terms of services offered, which focus mostly on individual and firms’ loans.
She said.“Banks in Saudi Arabia in general are in bad need for further radical transformation in their structures and strategies to serve our country better. For instance, they should offer more mortgages and real estate loans, or other types of loans backed by sustainable assets.”
Things are slowly beginning to modernise in a Saudi Arabia which has some history of the most repressive attitudes towards women. Most of the women in Saudi Arabia are highly educated and qualified, they don’t want to be left in the dark.