Appointments in leading positions part of a drive to elevate the status of women in the kingdom
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Image Credit: AFP
Saudi women take pictures with their mobile phones after the end of a prayer performed on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in the great mosque in the old City of Riyadh, on August 19, 2012 to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan . Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim calendar’s ninth and holiest month during which followers are required to abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn to dusk. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINENURELDINE
Manama: Saudi Arabia is to appoint 11 women to leading positions within the education ministry as part of a drive to boost women’s presence in key managerial spots.
In the breakthrough for women, the appointees will be given the title of general directors in administrations that oversee private and foreign education, gifted students, tests and admissions, adult education, kindergartens and student activities.
The women who will be appointed soon will also be in charge of guidance, Islamic awareness, special education, educational training and education supervision, local Arabic daily Al Eqtisadiya reported on Thursday.
The criteria for the appointments included a university degree and experience in a managerial position for at least one year.
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“The education ministry is on a robust drive to appoint women in all directorates and sections related to the education of girls in Saudi Arabia,” sources told the daily.
In 2009, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, credited with initiating a series of reforms that gave women more rights and limited the influence of ultraconservatives, appointed Nora Bint Abdullah Al Fayez, an expert on girls’ education, deputy education minister in charge of a new department for female students.
“This is an honour not only for me but for all Saudi women,” the first woman minister in Saudi Arabia said. “In the presence of a comprehensive operational team, I believe that I will be able to face challenges and create positive change,” Nora told Arab News.
According to reports, women comprise 58 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s college students.
Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University, the largest women-only university in the world, is made up of several colleges across the Riyadh region and has 52,308 students.
Around 95 per cent of employed Saudi women work in the public sector, mainly in the education sector (85 per cent) and in public health (six per cent).