‘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.


Number of female, male lawyers on the rise in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Justice noted that the Judicial Training Center recently organized a number of courses qualifying lawyers to obtain their legal license. (SPA)
Updated 26 September 2018
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Number of female, male lawyers on the rise in Saudi Arabia

  • The number of women officially registered with the ministry amounts to 221 lawyers during the year 1439H, compared to 83 licenses granted in 1438H

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Justice, represented by the Department of Lawyers, has announced that the total number of lawyers registered with the Ministry has reached 5,496, including 332 female lawyers.
The ministry’s figures show a steady increase amounting to 77 percent in the number of female lawyers in the Kingdom during the Hijri year 1439H, compared with the previous year.
“The number of women officially registered with the ministry amounts to 221 lawyers during the year 1439H, compared to 83 licenses granted in 1438H. The number of male lawyers reached 877 compared to 730 the year before,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of Justice noted that the Judicial Training Center recently organized a number of courses qualifying lawyers to obtain their legal license. “These courses were attended by 1,171 beneficiaries, in the vocational and training courses, including 521 female trainees,” the ministry added.
Women’s increasing role in judicial affairs comes with the Minister of Justice and the President of the Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia Dr. Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Samaani’s attempt to empower Saudi women.
Al-Samaani has instructed enabling Saudi women to obtain the “authentication license” which grants them the power to perform some of the tasks of notaries.
As part of the government’s Vision 2030 goal to raise women’s participation in the workforce, new job opportunities have become increasingly available to females.