Saudi female border guards finally recognized as soldiers
Women working at Saudi Arabia's border crossings have for the first time been recognized as military soldiers, the daily al-Riyadh reported on Thursday.
The 30 women had been working in an unofficial capacity for the past year, dealing with female travellers in the highly segregated and conservative kingdom.
But even after the new titles had been awarded, the women's duties were to remain limited to interacting with female travellers only, DPA reported.
Saudi women also work in an official police capacity as prison guards and investigative officers.
Women are prohibited from driving cars and social norms often require that a female citizen have a male escort to go out in public.
Saudi Prince Saud bin Mansour recently called for the establishment of a police academy for women to help combat terrorism in an article in al-Iqtisadiya newspaper.
"Terrorism has eroded Saudi security for many reasons, including that most of the wanted suspects have disguised themselves as women," he wrote.
Most Saudi women cover their faces in public, making identification by male security officers at check points or border crossings difficult.