Thursday, June 29, 2006

Saudi Women Make Progress.. :)

Bismillah Arrahman AlRaheem: In the Name of Allah The Most Beneficient The Most Merciful

Alhamdulillah, more proof that we are improving every day.. :)

PROUD 2 B SAUDI!§ion=0&article=84524&d=29&m=6&y=2006

More Women ‘Consultants’ Join Shoura
Maha Akeel, Arab News

JEDDAH, 29 June 2006 — Six more women joined the Shoura Council as part-time consultants, according to a member of the council. The women are consulted on various issues and they represent Saudi Arabia in international parliamentary meetings and forums where women are expected to attend. No discussions have been made on including women as full members in the council yet. The women are: Dr. Wafa Taiba, Dr. Omaimah Al-Jalahma, Dr. Bahija Ezze, Dr. Nora Al-Yousif, Dr. Nora Al-Edwan and Dr. Nihad Al-Jishi.

The council had previously consulted three other women in the past few years. They are all academicians and of experience in various fields and come from different backgrounds and regions of the Kingdom.

The six women were nominated to the council and selected by the president to act as part-time consultants as needed. “I think the women were mainly chosen to represent the Kingdom in conferences about women and family where their participation would give voice to the Saudi woman and her issues inside and outside the Kingdom,” said Shoura member Dr. Mohammed Al-Zulfa. The latest such participation for the women is the council president’s nomination of Dr. Nora Al-Edwan and Dr. Wafa Taiba to participate in the women and parliamentarians meeting to be held in Bahrain next week.

Al-Zulfa said that these women, whether the previous three or the additional six, are registered with the council as consultants and are called on by the various committees in the council to hear their opinions on different matters based on their experience. The committees have also called other women for their opinions when more views were needed such as the issue of women’s retirement where around 20 women from different regions and backgrounds were called and also the issue of high dowries, according to Al-Zulfa.

As for including women as full members, Al-Zulfa said that is a topic for the president of the council and the domain of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to decide on. Princess Adelah bint Abdullah had said in an interview in October that women’s membership in the Shoura “is a matter of time” and that women would be allowed to drive cars “in the right time”.

In early January of this year, local newspapers had reported that the Shoura Council would soon name members of a national women’s committee which would not be independent but function primarily as a consultative body. The committee will have the right to make suggestions if asked by the chairman.

Hatoon Al-Fassi, an associate professor at King Saud University and one of the women nominated for the committee, was surprised at being included and disappointed by the limited scope of the committee’s role. Al-Fassi explained: “I hope the committee will not be as has been suggested; if so, there is no need for it and I object to being included. This is not a first step; it is very much the same as what we have now. Women are asked as consultants with no right to make decisions, no authority and their opinions are not taken. This is not the committee we have been asking for. What we want is an independent women’s committee, supervising all women’s issues and reporting directly to the king. We want to be a link between the leadership and the executive branches.”

-YSH ;)


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