Saudi Women are Redefining Their Roles

Princess Lamia bint Majed Al-Saud addresses the Saudi Women Can conference. Photo Credit: Alwaleed Philanthropies

On March 8, a group of Saudi women marked International Women’s Day by unveiling a campaign to highlight the changing role and economic potential of women in the Kingdom.

Since 2011, when the late King Abdullah declared that women would be allowed and encouraged to join the government advisory Shura Council, the situation for women in Saudi Arabia has begun to evolve past what can be considered stereotypical Western perceptions of their roles in society.

“It is the right time…we are more aware of the importance of women’s participation in jobs, in different sectors,” Princess Lamia bin Majed Al Saud, secretary general of Alwaleed Philanthropies – a charity aiming to empower women – told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

She added, “Women have achieve a lot in our country and we are very proud of this, achievements the outside community does not know about. Like any other country we have obstacles, we acknowledge that…but we are doing our best to make it better.”

Saudi Women Featured Prominently in Saudi Arabia’s Future

Last year, Saudi Arabia released Vision 2030, which outlined the government’s plan to develop women’s talents by enabling them to play a greater role in the economy.

As Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman lays out in the foreward to the plan:

“We commit ourselves to providing world-class government services which effectively and efficiently meet the needs of our citizens. Together we will continue building a better country, fulfilling our dream of prosperity and unlocking the talent, potential, and dedication of our young men and women. We will not allow our country ever to be at the mercy of a commodity price volatility or external markets. We have all the means to achieve our dreams and ambitions. There are no excuses for us to stand still or move backwards.

Our Vision is a strong, thriving and stable Saudi Arabia that provides opportunity for all.”

As Saudi Arabia sprints toward a future that includes prosperity and increased economic freedom, it is clear that Saudi women will no longer be left behind.

Read the full story on Reuters.