Female journalist breaks gender barrier to cover Shoura

Updated 16 April 2013

Female journalist breaks gender barrier to cover Shoura

Female news reporters for the first time are covering the Shoura Council sessions. Hayat Al-Ghamdi, a reporter from Al-Hayat, broke the barrier.
Women journalists were previously not allowed to cover the council’s sessions.
“To cover parliamentary sessions is an experience that would certainly polish my journalistic experience,” Al-Ghamdi said.
She said her newspaper contacted the council to allow her to cover the session. She said that the request was granted following persistent requests for approval.
Jameel Al-Diaby, editor of Al-Hayat, said the newspaper faced difficulties seeking permission from the council.
“But it was finally granted, and we sent the female reporter to cover the session,” he said. “Covering parliamentary sessions is something new to Saudi female reporters. We are seeking to enhance women’s role in Saudi journalism, since Saudi society still regards this kind of job as somehow unwelcome for ladies.”
“Female reporters are more disciplined than male reporters, and they are more capable of looking for facts and are more productive than their male counterparts,” he said. Al-Ghamdi told Arab News that she “was told that she was allowed to attend, and was asked to bring an identification card, which is part of the protocol for covering parliamentary work.”
“When I arrived, I found a female employee to escort me, and I was told that she would stay with me wherever I go around inside the council building to help me in anything I want,” she said.
She said that that “female Shoura members were active participants, and they called for decisions to be issued with regard to women.”
The chairman of the council, she said, “would give the female members adequate time at the bench.”
The journalist expressed hope that allowing female reporters to attend may help female council members “have more confidence in us and communicate with us.”
Al-Ghamdi also said that female council members’ phone numbers were not given. They are difficult to reach, she said, and “even if we could reach them, they would not give us statements.”
She also said that she was afraid that it may not be possible in the future for female reporters to cover the council’s sessions, “because there is no culture of female reporters covering Saudi parliamentary events, since it was exclusively reserved for males.


Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

Updated 24 min 30 sec ago

Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

  • The drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace
  • The coalition destroyed three drones during the earlier 24 hours

DUBAI: The Arab coalition destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Al-Jawf in the north of Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Coalition forces intercepted the drone while it was still in Yemen’s airspace.

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said, the militia’s continued attempted attacks would end in failure,

Earlier on Monday, the coalition announced that they successfully destroyed three Houthi drones and intercepted six ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia over 24 hours.

The missiles, which were launched from Saada, were targeting civilian areas in Al-Jazan, Al-Maliki said.

Earlier in August, 10 drones were fired at the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia, near the UAE border – the Houthis claim responsibility for the attack.

There were no injuries and operations were not disrupted.