A social insurance scheme for women is to be launched in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, on May 8, 2007, following a successful trial, according to Arab News.

Citing Muhammad Al-Aqla, undersecretary for social insurance and housing at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Social Affairs, Arab News reported that this was the first experiment to offer social insurance services to women. He added that further plans were underway to gradually roll the experiment out to the other parts of the kingdom.

According to Arab News, the undersecretary also stated that a contract had been made with an information technology company to supply factual information on the beneficiaries of social insurance to ensure those in need of assistance will be guaranteed to receive it.

The decision to extend the insurance services to women follows the recognition that women comprise more than half of those who are entitled to the ministry’s assistance and pension schemes, reported Arab News.