When will there be a female Saudi ambassador?


Al-Watan newspaper

The Kingdom continues to empower women on all levels and has given women senior positions in several government agencies. However, some members of the Shoura Council are against giving women senior positions in embassies, consulates and Saudi missions, and leading positions in international organizations. In fact, the council has recently refused to look into recommendations that Saudi women should be empowered and be given leading positions in Saudi embassies abroad. Why have they refused the recommendation? Are women unable to serve as ministers or ambassadors?

Looking at the history of women in the Kingdom, we see that Saudi women have proved that they can lead and hold senior positions. Saudi women were at the top of a Forbes Magazine list of 200 powerful women in the Arab World. The list included Princess Reema Al-Saud, the CEO of Alpha International, Nadia Khalid Al-Dossary, CEO and Managing Partner of Al Sale Eastern Co. Ltd, Princess Madawi Al-Saud, Chairperson of Luthan Company, and Dr. Ayesha Nato, Chairwoman of Al Ain Optics Company. The list is long and these are only a few of the internationally recognized Saudi women.

The government has sent thousands of Saudi women on scholarships abroad to empower them and give them the chance to participate in international conferences and events to prepare them to fill leading positions in ministries, embassies and consulates.

Countless studies show that women who have been empowered and given senior positions have succeeded. That is why many Arab and Islamic countries have female ministers and ambassadors and some are even presidents of countries, such as Halimah Yacob who is the president of Singapore.

Shariah does not ban women from holding senior positions. So, why has the Shoura Council rejected the recommendation? This is difficult to understand. Is it due to tribal traditions that do not consider women eligible to lead?

I am sure that the government will soon fix this situation and further empower Saudi women and help them take leading positions at all levels.