The move by the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques to appoint 10 women to leadership position aims to support the advancement of women throughout the kingdom, a senior official told The National.
Dr Al Anoud Khaled Al Aboud, Deputy President for Women’s Development Affairs at the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah, said the move announced on Saturday was part of the government’s wider plan to boost women’s participation in public and private spheres.
“As a result, women gained further access to educational and professional opportunities that empowered them to participate in decision-making processes and take on senior leadership positions. Over the last two years, women have been gaining access to jobs in courts, regional municipalities, government ministries, and more,” she said.
She said the move on Saturday was part of the government’s Vision 2030 – a wide-ranging reform of everything from education, health, the economy and the society.
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“The decision to appoint 10 more women to the council’s board, in addition to the previous numbers making up half of the board members, is a continuation of the leadership’s efforts to empower women to occupy leadership positions in various fields,” she added.
“We are thankful to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and his government for showing his trust in Saudi women and giving them a chance to be part of his vision,” she said.
In 2014, Fatimah Al Rashoud become the first woman to occupy a leadership position at the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques when she was appointed a vice president of the Women’s Guidance Committee.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the presidency of the mosques said the decision aimed to empower Saudi women with high qualifications and capabilities in order to provide the highest services to the guests of the Holy Mosques.
The appointment of the 10 women coincided with the appointment of nearly 500 young men to positions in all specialisations and services provided in the Two Holy Mosques. This includes guides, directors, engineers as well as administrative or supervisory services.
They are also included in the departments of the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa (cover), the Two Holy Mosques Building Gallery, the Library of the Holy Mosque and other areas.
The General President for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Dr Abdulrahman Al Sudais, has already issued directives to establish a number of women’s agencies and has restructured a number of public administrations concerned with women’s affairs in the presidency and its agency for the affairs of the Prophet’s Mosque. He said the move was to harness new energies and improve the standard of services.