‘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.


Bahraini crown prince meets Saudi officials in Riyadh

Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa arrived in Riyadh to attend the Ad Diriyah E Prix event. (SPA)
Updated 15 December 2018
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Bahraini crown prince meets Saudi officials in Riyadh

  • His visit follows an official invitation from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to attend the Ad Diriyah E Prix event

RIYADH: Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa held talks with Saudi officials in Riyadh this week. 

His visit follows an official invitation from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to attend the Ad Diriyah E Prix event.

Prince Salman bin Hamad was received at King Khalid International Airport by Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdul Aziz, deputy governor of Riyadh; Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, minister of the interior; Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, commander of the Royal Guard, chairman of the Supreme Council for Youths and Sports and chairman of Bahrain Olympic Committee; and Shaikh Homoud bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, Bahraini ambassador to Saudi Arabia. 

Bahrain’s King Hamad was among Gulf leaders who attended the 39th GCC Summit in Riyadh.