Saudi female soldiers show skills at graduation ceremony. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Some 211 Saudi female conscripts had graduated after completing a basic individual training course at a prison facility, the Saudi official news agency SPA has reported.

The course focused on gaining field skills and security sciences, and was held at the Women’s Capacity Training and Development Centre linked to the General Directorate for Prisons, the agency added.

At their graduation ceremony, the conscripts staged a parade displaying the military skills gained during the training. The parade also featured a display of shooting skills.

The ceremony was held under auspices of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud and attended by representatives of government sectors and the graduates’ families.

In 2019, the kingdom announced allowing women to serve in the army.

Earlier this month, 255 other Saudi women graduated from an army training institute for women, groomed for being members of special forces in diplomatic and Hajj security.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has vigorously pursued a drive to empower women in different walks of life as part of dramatic changes in the kingdom.

Women accounted for 37 per cent of the kingdom’s overall labour market last year, Saud Minister of Human Resources Ahmed Al Rajhi said last week.

In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, ending a decades-old ban on female driving.

In another move enhancing women’s empowerment, Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel without a male guard’s approval and to apply for a passport, easing long-time controls on them.

Two female ambassadors were among 11 Saudi envoys, who took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdulaziz this month.