Saudi women create history by attending first Shura Council session

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 09:51 hrs

Manama: Women in Saudi Arabia created history when they took their 30 seats at the Shura Council session for the first time during the much-anticipated opening of the sixth term of the advisory council.

The women members consolidated their presence by securing three senior positions in the Council's committees. Dr Thurayya Obaid was named deputy chairperson of the Human Rights and Petitions Committee, Dr Zainab Abu Talib, deputy chairperson of the Information and Cultural Committee and Dr Lubna Al Ansari, deputy chairperson of the Health Affairs and Environment Committee, reports Gulf News.

All the 30 women were sworn in last week, alongside their male peers, by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in a historic ceremony.

Deputy Speaker Fahd Al Hamad called upon all Saudis to help the women members succeed.

Last week, some of the women members said that the personal status law and the full rights of divorcees and widows would top the list of concerns. They insisted that they were fully aware of the plight of divorced women and the women who are deprived of their rights to inheritance due to customs and traditions that have nothing to do with Islam.

The women appointed to the Shura Council are among the country's elite with 27 holding PhD degrees.

Following the appointment of the women, Saudi Arabia jumped from the 184th rank on the world's list of the percentage of women in parliament to the 80th place, well ahead of the US, Ireland, Russia, India and Brazil.

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