Shoura moves to protect rights of women

Updated 09 February 2013

Shoura moves to protect rights of women


Women members of the Shoura Council will set up a special committee to protect the rights of women, said Dr. Nuhad Al-Jishi, a member of the consultative body.
“Women members will be appointed in all the 13 subsidiary committees of the Shoura and we’ll set up a new committee to protect women’s rights if it was required,” she said.
However, she pointed out that the creation of such committees would depend on the Shoura’s rules and regulations.
“There is a committee for human rights and another one for social affairs at the Shoura. If the heads of these committees want to set up their women branches, they have the right to do so in accordance with Shoura regulations,” she pointed out.
Speaking at a meeting of businesswomen at Asharqia Chamber in Dammam, she said a proposal has been made to set a commission for women’s rights, adding that the concerned authorities are studying it.
“I have an intention to join the transport committee at the Shoura considering its importance. Lack of transport facilities is one of the biggest problems facing women in the Kingdom,” she pointed out.
Al-Jishi said she has interests in three Shoura committees related to health, social affairs and transport. “Women’s driving is an important issue because there is a lack of public transport facilities for women and many women cannot afford to have a driver,” Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily quoted Al-Jishi as saying.
She stressed the need for taking adequate measures to reduce growing number of road accidents in the Kingdom.
“The membership of women in the Shoura will not make any change in its systems. However, women can play an important role in the decision-making process,” he said.
King Abdullah, when he issued a royal decree appointing 30 women to the Shoura, had instructed authorities to include women in all its subsidiary committees.
“This means women will have an equal role in the Shoura like their male counterparts while discussing matters related to domestic and foreign policies,” Al-Jishi said.
She said the participation of women in the Shoura would improve their image. “Earlier while women were working as consultants in the Shoura, they were not having the right to vote on decisions,” she pointed out.
“Now things have changed. She has become an influential member of the Shoura.”
In a previous statement, Dr. Thuraya Obaid, another female member, said women should work hard to prove their capabilities.
Obaid said that all the women appointees are highly educated and have represented the country internationally.
“It is a step forward for women and the whole country. We were hoping for this. King Abdullah has always had a vision for the role of women and their presence in important positions, especially on the Shoura Council. I think it is also very important on the international level; Saudi Arabia can say to the world that it has women serving in advisory positions that have links to decision makers in the country.”
Obaid has served as executive director of the United Nations Population Fund and an under-secretary general of the United Nations from 2000 to 2010.

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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 2 min 15 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.