Female teachers demand equality Walaa Hawari | Arab News RIYADH: A delegation of six female teachers from various parts of the Kingdom met the Deputy Minister of Education, Noura Al-Fayez, over the weekend in order to air their grievances concerning discrimination against them. After the meeting, a spokesperson for “Women Teachers Campaign for Equality and Justice With Male Teachers,” Mona Abdul Aziz, expressed some optimism. “Although Al-Fayez did not promise to solve our case, she promised to set things right in general and that is fair enough.” “How are female teachers expected to do their best in their jobs while they feel oppressed and that their rights have been denied?” asked Abdul Aziz, adding that during the meeting with the deputy minister, she rejected a previous statement by the Finance Director Saleh Al-Humaidi who pointed out that inequality was a result of the merging, of the General Presidency of Girls’ Schools and the Ministry of Education in 2002. The campaign spokesperson clarified that injustices continued after the merging, as female teachers appointed in 2003-05 suffered losses in their salaries for transportation, raises and inflation allowances which were granted to their male colleagues. Although the original campaign was to seek the rights of both male and female teachers, Abdul Aziz clarified that the female teachers are now looking for equality with their male counterparts. “Equality in injustice is justice! “ says Abdul Aziz, pointing out that male teachers are complaining of salaries short of hundreds of riyals, while female teachers are short of thousands. Members of the campaign pointed out that the deputy minister was surprised by the inequality between male and female teachers, especially regarding the difference in salaries of same year graduates. What devastates the female teachers the most, according to Abdul Aziz, is that many years of service were not accounted for and they were not paid retroactively as the male teachers were. She said, “I worked for sevenyears for a lump sum salary. Then I was assigned a full time job seven years ago but I was not paid retroactively though my male colleagues were. Thus I lost seven years of hard work.” Abdul Aziz wondered how could this take place when both male and female teachers now work under the same umbrella of the Ministry of Education.