As the members of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura (Advisory) Council were sworn into office, 30 women were among them. They were welcomed in a speech by King Abdullah as he opened the Councl’s sixth session, as reported by Arab News
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Tuesday swore in the country’s first female members of the Shoura Council, along with their male counterparts, and urged them to carry out the job with responsibility.
“I am happy to meet you at the opening of the sixth Shoura session in which women are taking part for the first time. May Allah bless you all with good vision and counseling capability,” the king told the Shoura members. King Abdullah said the Shoura should take its decisions after thorough discussions without any haste.
“We are seeking gradual development without any (outside) pressure,” he added.
He reminded the Shoura members they represent the various groups of Saudi society. “So you have to discuss all issues and topics … with responsibility, applying your intelligence and expertise,” he said, adding that the government was looking for sound decisions from the Shoura.
He also reminded the members that their membership in the Shoura was a responsibility rather than an honor.
There are 30 women in the new 150-member Shoura Council. The decision to appoint women to the body was announced in 2011 but their names were only made public last month.
The new Shoura Council will hold its first meeting on Feb. 24.