King Abdullah’s Shoura move contributed to women empowerment

Updated 16 March 2014
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King Abdullah’s Shoura move contributed to women empowerment

The United Nations Agency for Women and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have announced that the number of female parliamentarians in the world has increased to a record 21.8 percent, which is an increase of 8.7 percent since 2000.
Anders Johnsson, secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, pointed out that the increase in the number of female parliamentarians worldwide is due to several factors. Foremost among the factors, Johnson said, is the royal order issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, which allocated 20 percent of the seats in the Shoura Council for Saudi women. Johnson predicted that it would take less than 20 years to achieve equality between men and women in parliaments if the current rate of progress is maintained.
The UN Agency for Women and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have released for the first time a report titled “Map of Women in Politics” for the year 2014, which indicates that the number of female ministers in the world rose from 14.3 percent in 2005 to 17.2 percent in 2014.
The number of women appointed for the position of secretary of defense increased from 7 to 14 since 2012, while the number of women holding the post of minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation increased to 45 ministers. However, the number of women elected as president and prime minister have declined slightly since 2012 from 19 to 18, the report revealed.
John Hendra, deputy executive director of UN Agency for Women, said that despite the progress, there are still several barriers facing women, including gender prejudices, discrimination and cultural attitudes that perceive women as less able to command than men.


Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Updated 18 November 2018
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Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event.
The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account.
“We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said.


The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries.
Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state.
Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.”
During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event.
He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations.
“I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted.

Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur.
“If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added.
The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world.
Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event.
The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture.