Arab News carries an interview with one of the women newly-appointed to Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council. In it, she talks about the challenges that she and her sister members will face. Thuraya Obeid, who had extensive experience with the UN before being appointed, highlights three areas in which the women will be expected to perform:

“The biggest challenge for us is that we have to work hard because there will be high expectations and people waiting to see the results and success of our efforts. We have to work and deliver what is expected of us. The other challenge will be to face the doubters. There are those who do not approve of women being on the Shoura Council. We have to prove to them that our presence on the Council is a contribution to society.”

The third and biggest challenge “is to show society that women are citizens with rights and duties to fulfill, and that they can perform their roles to serve their king and country.”

She’s absolutely right. I have no doubt, however, that these women are up to the challenge.

Women must prove they are capable of contributing to Shoura
LONDON: Abeer Mishkhas

The 30 newly appointed women on the Shoura Council must work hard to prove that women have the right to serve in such top positions and can serve the nation, said Dr. Thuraya Obaid, one of the new members.

Obaid served as Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and an Under-Secretary General of the United Nations from 2000 to 2010.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Arab News’ sister publication, Obaid said that all the women appointees are highly educated and have represented the country internationally.

“It is a step forward for women and the whole country. We were hoping for this. King Abdullah has always had a vision for the role of women and their presence in important positions, especially on the Shoura Council. I think it is also very important on the international level; Saudi Arabia can say to the world that it has women serving in advisory positions that have links to decision makers in the country.”


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