Saudi Arabia Believes in Women's Public Participation, Decision-Making Positions: Shura Council

Saudi Arabia Believes in Women's Public Participation, Decision-Making Positions: Shura Council

Shura Council Assistant Speaker Dr. Hanan bint Abdurrahim Al-Ahmadi said the Kingdom believes in the importance of women’s participation in public life and holding decision-making positions, considering it a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Her remarks came during the sixth annual Reykjavík Global Forum co-hosted by the Parliament of Iceland in partnership with Women Political Leaders (WPL).

In a session titled “Voices of Parliaments,” Dr. Al-Ahmadi delivered a speech highlighting the significant advancements made by the Kingdom in empowering Saudi women, given their role as essential partners in supporting the development process and ensuring its success.

Under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the Kingdom prioritizes women's participation in public life and decision-making positions, she said.

This belief stems from the recognition of women’s societal role based on the principles of Islamic law, she said, adding that women’s participation has been a fundamental aspect of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Launched in 2016, the national strategy has aimed at building a vibrant society, an ambitious nation, and a thriving economy, she said.

The strategy has created significant momentum and brought about major changes in various economic, social, and cultural aspects, Dr. Al-Ahmadi said. This has created new jobs for women and increased their access to leadership roles, she added.

The Saudi women accounted for 41 percent of top and middle management positions in the business sector in 2022, she said. Furthermore, the percentage of Saudi women's participation in the workforce increased to 35.6% in the same year.

Dr. Al-Ahmadi emphasized that empowering women and enhancing their leadership roles contribute to establishing comprehensive and balanced development, which is a central focus for parliaments and legislative councils.

She also highlighted the importance of respecting the society’s identity, values, and Islamic and Arab culture, which promote moderation, tolerance, and balance.

The Kingdom seeks to pursue development aligned with Saudi culture and cherished values, with women leaders serving as a reflection of their society.

On the sidelines of the forum, Dr. Al-Ahmadi met with a delegation from the Armenian National Assembly, headed by Tatevik Gasparyan, a deputy of the Armenian National Assembly and a member of its Standing Committee on European Integration.

The meeting focused on means of enhancing bilateral relations between the Shura Council and the Armenian National Assembly.

Gasparyan stressed the importance of Armenian relations with Saudi Arabia, particularly the Shura Council, and expressed plans to establish a parliamentary friendship committee in the Armenian parliament to strengthen cooperation between the two sides.

The Saudi delegation participating in the forum included Dr. Mona bint Abdullah Al Mushait and Hanan bint Abdullah Al-Smari, both members of the Shura Council.

The Reykjavík Global Forum serves as a prominent gathering of female parliamentarians and leaders from various countries worldwide.