Arab News KSA female staff ratio up to 32% in 2017

Saudi media personality Muna AbuSulayman, center, with Arab News staff, from left, Huda Bashatah, Deema Al-Khudair, Lulwa Shalhoub Ana and Aseel Bashraheel. (AN photo: Ghazi Mehdi)
Updated 20 April 2018
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Arab News KSA female staff ratio up to 32% in 2017

  • Arab News aims to become the first Saudi “gender-balanced” newspaper by 2020
  • The initiative known as “50:50 by 2020” will aim to cover all the newspaper’s bureaus and areas of operation

RIYADH: Arab News, the Saudi Arabia-based newspaper, boosted the ratio of female staff and contributors working in the Kingdom in 2017 to almost a third — compared to just 13 percent the previous year.

The results of Arab News’ “Gender equality meter” are published today as part of the newspaper’s stated aim to become the first Saudi “gender-balanced” newspaper by 2020.

In 2016, 87 percent of the newspaper’s staff and contributors in Saudi Arabia were men. Last year the number of women working for the paper within the Kingdom hit 32 percent.

The ratio of women working across the newspaper’s global editorial operations — including editorial staff in the Saudi, London and Dubai bureaus, regular Opinion writers, foreign correspondents and freelancers — stood at 31 percent in 2017. 

There is no global comparison for 2016 because the London and Dubai operations did not exist, and the Opinion section included much syndicated content. Overall comparative figures, and numbers for Arab News’ Southeast Asia bureau, will be published next year.

Arab News earlier this month outlined its aim to become the first newspaper in Saudi Arabia to have a gender-balanced newsroom — and it intends to achieve this goal in less than two years. The drive — referred to internally as the “50:50 by 2020” initiative — will aim to cover all the newspaper’s bureaus and areas of operation. It will involve active recruitment, training and career guidance which the paper will provide.


Six charged over 2015 murder of Bangladesh blogger

Updated 18 February 2019
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Six charged over 2015 murder of Bangladesh blogger

  • Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born US national, was hacked to death outside Dhaka University
  • He was known in Bangladesh for his Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog

DHAKA: Six people have been charged with the gruesome murder four years ago of a controversial atheist blogger, Bangladesh police said Monday.
Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born US national, was hacked to death on a busy road outside Dhaka University in February 2015. His wife was critically injured in the attack.
Police investigators said 11 of the 12 militants from the outlawed Ansar Al-Islam group implicated in the murder took part in the street killing.
“Six people have been charged over the murder of Avijit Roy. Of the six, two are on the run,” Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman said.
A sacked army major who masterminded the attack was one of those still on the loose, Rahman said, adding police could not identify the other five involved.
One suspect was killed by police in a crackdown that followed the murder.
Roy, who migrated to the United States two decades ago, was known in Bangladesh for his Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog, where he railed against all forms of organized religion.
One of his books, “The Virus of Faith,” became a controversial bestseller in Bangladesh, which is officially secular even though 90 percent of the population is Muslim.
Ansar Al-Islam has been accused of the 2013-14 murders of atheist and secular bloggers and gay activists that prompted many to flee the country.
The government launched a crackdown on Ansar and other radical groups after an attack on a Dhaka cafe in July 2016 left 18 foreigners dead.
Nearly 100 extremists have since been killed by police while hundreds have been arrested.