International News

    Saudi appoints first female deputy minister of labour

    Dr. Tamader bint Youssef Al Rammah has been appointed deputy minister of labour and social development.
    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, reshuffled some of the Kingdom’s top military officers and several deputy ministers on Monday in a broad shakeup seen as elevating younger officials in key economic and security areas.
    Several new deputies in economic and security-related ministries as well as a handful of new city mayors were appointed, including Dr.Tamader bint Youssef Al Rammah as  deputy minister of labour and social development for social development, a rare senior post for a woman in the Kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in a statement.
    The order is to be implemented by the concerned authorities.
    Al Rammah, who holds Ph.D in Radiology and Medical Engineering from Manchester University, was Human Rights Commission Representative of Saudi Arabia in 2016 and is an academic who served on the faculty of King Saud University, reports Al Arabiya.
    No official reason was given for the sweeping overhaul, but it comes as the Saudi-led Coalition’s military intervention in Yemen against Houthi rebels nears the end of its third year.
    “A military transformation is under way in Saudi Arabia. The changes come on the heels of the SAMI exhibition, which is a critical part of the Prince Mohammed’s reform plan to create an indigenous defence program,” Theodore Karasik, a senior advisor at the consultancy Gulf States Analytics, told AFP.
    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the country’s defence minister and has been consolidating his grip on power in recent months.
    Prince Mohammed is the country’s defence minister and has been consolidating his grip on power in recent months while pushing major economic and social reforms.
    The Prince has pursued an assertive regional policy, including leading a military intervention in neighbouring Yemen since 2015.
    Women can now join military
    Saudi Arabia also has for the very first time opened applications for women to enlist in the military as the Kingdom continues to enact reforms granting females more access to a wide range of careers.
    According to authorities on Monday, interested candidates have until Thursday to apply for positions with the rank of soldier in the provinces of Riyadh, Al Qassim,  the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
    A list of requirements says applicants must be Saudi citizens and aged between 25 to 35 with a high school diploma.

    Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, women who apply to join the army must also have a place of residence in the same provinces as the job’s location with their male guardians, usually husband, father, brother or son.

    The recruitment of female soldiers is one of many reforms enhancing women’s rights introduced in recent months.

    The country announced its plan to allow women to drive from June this year, and ride-hailing apps were getting prepared to hire female drivers.

    Furthermore, Saudi women last month were given permission to attend football matches and to open their own businesses without the consent of their male relatives.

    Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor’s office said it would also begin recruiting women investigators for the first time.

    The Kingdom has also opened 140 positions for women at airports and border crossings, a historic first that the government said drew 107,000 female applicants.


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