Saudis strongly favor female Cabinet ministers


Calls are mounting for the appointment of women to the Cabinet to further strengthen government’s efforts led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for women empowerment.

Fifty-four percent of people who participated in a survey conducted by Khadija bint Khuwailed Center at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry backed appointment of women as ministers to expand their role in nation-building endeavors.

Speaking with Arab News over the issue, Maha Akeel, director of information department at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, expressed optimism.

“We have seen so many initiatives by King Abdullah in recent years for empowerment of women, including their appointment to the Shoura Council and creating more job opportunities for women in different sectors,” she said.

“The survey result is a positive indication as more than half of the participants support appointment of women as ministers and I am sure it will happen eventually and will not take very long,” Akeel said.

Asked whether women ministers would make life of Saudi women better, she said: “Women ministers will serve the whole society as the appointment will be made on the basis of merit and not gender.”

She emphasized the need for providing equal opportunities for both men and women.
Basma Omair, executive director of Khadija center, said the survey result reflected a major change in the attitude of people toward women.

As many as 3,000 men and women took part in the survey and 51 percent of them backed appointment of women as mutawifat to organize Haj affairs while 81 percent supported women working from home.





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