Four women in leading Jeddah municipality positions

Manama: Four Saudi women have been promoted to leading positions within the Municipality of Jeddah in a new milestone in the drive to empower women and elevate their status in the kingdom.

Under the appointments announced by Mayor Saleh Al Turki, Areej Baqmi was promoted to director general of human resources.

She is the first woman in Saudi Arabia to hold this position in a municipality.

Areej was appointed in March 2017 as the director of the recruitment and manpower planning department.

Mariam Abu Al Ainain was named as the head of the women’s municipality, the new name for the general directorate for women’s services.

Shadha Al Muhanna was appointed as the head of the Dhahban municipality and Hiba Al Balawi as the head of the eastern municipality.

“The nominations aim to improve performances and boost productivity,” the spokesperson for the Municipality of Jeddah said, quoted by Saudi daily Okaz on Tuesday.

The newly-appointed women will take up their positions within two days.

The first woman to be appointed head of a municipality in Saudi Arabia was Nahla Bint Saleh Madhhar who took over the women’s municipality in Madinah in April.

In July, another woman, Daleel Khalaf Al Shimmari was appointed head of the women’s municipality in the Northern Area.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on an ambitious drive to reform society and empower women politically, economically and socially.

The movement has been inexorably moving forward despite resistance from conservative forces.

Major breakthroughs were when women were allowed to attend sports activities and football matches starting in January and to get Saudi licences and drive in June.

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