Saudi Arabia plans women-only city

Saudi women gather in front of a carpet made of over 135,000 flowers at the Riyadh Spring Festival in the Saudi capital on April 15, 2011.

Saudi Arabia has decided to approach the problem of women and Sharia law in a novel way: plans are afoot to construct an all-female city, geared towards working women, reported RT.com. 

The city is slated to be built in the eastern city of Hafuf, and is slated to create around 5,000 jobs in a variety of industries. Women will be in leadership roles. 

According to RT, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, otherwise known as Modon, is behind the (rather inefficient-sounding) scheme, which hopes to finally use the capabilities of women to improve Saudi Arabia. 

Read more: Women of Saudi Arabia - National Geographic 

"I'm sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suit their interests, their nature and their ability," said Modon deputy-director-general, Saleh Al-Rasheed, to Saudi paper al-Eqtisadiah, as reprinted in RT.  

According to Al Bawaba.com, plans are afoot to construct a second female-only industrial city in an yet-to-be-determined location. The website added that a recent poll found over 65 percent of working women in Saudi Arabia wanted to achieve greater financial independence.

Many also wanted to actually use their educational credentials - a serious concern for Saudi women, who graduate from university in ever-increasing numbers but find it difficult to find employment. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar makes Olympic track history 

Al Arabiya news reported in June that over 78.3 percent of female university graduates were employed, a number that included 1,000 PHD holders. 

Al Arabiya reported that although Saudi women's participation in the workforce has leapt to 14.4 percent, from a mere 5.4 percent in 1992, it's still the lowest number in the Gulf region.