‘Strong and ambitious’ Saudi women crucial to transforming the Kingdom

Hoda Al-Helaissi speaking on International Women’s Day at the RUSI think tank in London. (RUSI)
Updated 09 March 2018
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‘Strong and ambitious’ Saudi women crucial to transforming the Kingdom

LONDON: Empowering women is “crucial’’ to transforming Saudi Arabia into “a country that can compete globally on different levels,’’ Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of the Shoura Council, said.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, she listed the rapid-fire reforms that are widening women’s roles in the Kingdom, but voiced frustration that international perceptions of Saudi women are still as “oppressed, subservient to and suffocated by men, uneducated, not allowed to work and inferior to her partner.’’
She said at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a UK think tank: “The stereotype of the Saudi woman is far from the truth. The Saudi woman has revealed herself to be a strong and ambitious individual, influencing and participating positively in society.’’
Describing the tendency in the west to blur the ’fine line’’ between religion and tradition, she emphasised that “it is not Islam that hinders progression of women.’’
“Much of what is seen by the west as being backwards and oppressive to women is based on traditions,’’ Al-Helaissi explained.
Describing women as vital in realising Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitions for the Kingdom, she said: “A country’s true development can only come about... when it uses 100 percent of its human resources, male and female.’’
The make-up of Saudi society is shifting, she continued, paving the way for women to play a more active role in creating the country’s future.
Saudi Arabia is changing at a rate that “few countries have seen before ... but this change “must come from within’’ and not be imposed from outside, she added.


Al-Mouallimi: We are all working to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people

Updated 22 June 2018
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Al-Mouallimi: We are all working to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people

  • Saudi Arabia is continuing its humanitarian work to help the people in Yemen, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador said
  • Saudi Arabia’s most recent effort was the convoy of 45 trucks carrying 924 tons of food, medical and shelter assistance to the people of Hodeidah

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is continuing its humanitarian work to help the people in Yemen, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdallah Yahya Al-Mouallimi said during a media briefing in New York on Thursday, the Saudi press agency SPA reported.

The spokesman for the KSRelief, Dr. Samer Al-Jatili, gave a presentation during the briefing which outlined the Saudi government’s efforts to help the people of the war-torn country, including Hodeidah, since the beginning of the crisis.

Dr Jatili’s presentation noted that since 2015, the campaign has consisted of combating epidemics, promoting environmental sanitation, providing drinking water and distributing food aid.

Saudi Arabia’s most recent effort was the convoy of 45 trucks carrying 924 tons of food, medical and shelter assistance to the people of Hodeidah, which was meant to alleviate the humanitarian suffering from the blockade imposed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

The Yemeni ambassador to the US also stated that the Houthi militia have rejected all initiatives presented by former UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the current envoy Martin Griffith to find practical solutions to avoid military operations to retake Hodeidah.

The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Lana Nusseibeh, was also present at the press conference along with other senior officials.