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Saudi Arabia is Now Accepting Military Applications from Women

Saudi model Shahad Salman photographed by Dan Beleiu

Following a ruling by the Ministry of Defense in Saudi Arabia, women can now join the armed forces. Starting Sunday, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defense will allow both genders to sign up through a unified admission portal. Ranks from soldier to sergeant will be available in the army in Saudi Arabia, including the Armed Forces Medical Services, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force, and Royal Saudi Air Defense.

The Saudi female applicants should be between the age of 21 to 40 and must have a height of 155 cm or taller, and also, they cannot be government employees. The women applying to the armed forces must hold an independent national identity card and have a high school level education. Most importantly, applications won’t be considered if the applicant is married to a non-Saudi citizen.

However, the age requirements for male applicants applying for the first time is between 17 to 40, while the minimum height requirement is 160 cm. In addition to that, all applicants must pass the admission procedure, have a clean track record and be medically fit.

Saudi Arabia announced in 2019 that women could serve in the armed forces as part of the Kingdom’s larger economic and social reform. In January 2020, the Saudi military chief of staff, Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, inaugurated the first military section for women in the Saudi Arabia armed forces and the director-general of admission and enlistment, Maj. Gen. Imad al-Aidan was present during the function and explained the regulations of acceptance. This inauguration had been part of a larger initiative to integrate women across the country into the military.

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