King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia appointed on Friday 30 women to the Shura Council in a historical move, allowing women for the first time to be part of the kingdom’s formal advisory body.
The new appointees were chosen based on their academic and administrative achievements.
Thuraya Obaid, an executive director of the U.N. Development Program for 10 years and regarded as the first Arab woman to hold a U.N. post, was one of the newly-appointed councilwomen.
Another was Saudi writer and poet Thuraya Al Arrayed, who is well known for her journalistic skills. She is an active advisor to various NGOs in Saudi Arabia and the Arab region.
Also, Khawlah Al Krie is one of the kingdom’s leading scientist researchers on cancer in the King Faisal specialist hospital. She was granted the King Faisal medal and was previously chosen to be Al Arabiya’s person of the year.
Dr. Salwa Al-Hazza ia professor of medicine at the University of Al Faisal. She is president and consultant of eye surgery and diseases as well as the senior scientist and consultant of genetics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.
Al-Hazza is considered to be the first women to take part in King Faisal’s Hospital council of consultants.
After the historical decree, Saudi women are now relying on their fellow female council members to fight on behalf of the kingdom’s women and to obtain their complete citizenship rights.