Shura ministry to discuss measures to empower women diplomatically
By: Habib Toumi, January 8, 2015
Manama: Saudi Arabia is set to have its first women ambassadors after a foreign ministry official said there was no opposition to the idea.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not oppose the notion of appointing a woman ambassador to represent the kingdom abroad,” Osama Al Nogli, the head of the media directorate at the ministry, said. “This could happen through the administrative promotion structure for diplomats and the acquirement of the necessary experience in dealing with political and economic issues,” he said in remarks carried by local daily Al Eqtisadiya on Wednesday.
The ministry will hold a meeting with members of the Shura (Consultative) Council to discuss issues mentioned in their report, including the appointment of women ambassadors.
Saudi Arabia has female diplomats, but not woman ambassadors.
“The foreign ministry started around 10 years ago to appoint women to diplomatic positions abroad as second secretaries of attachés,” he added. “The number of Saudi women diplomats abroad is more than 370.”
The foreign ministry this week said that it would be recruiting more Saudi women as second secretaries and attachés.
Applicants must be physically fit and must have at least a university degree in politics or law or business, or media. Other degrees are international relations, English, French and Spanish, local daily Al Watan reported.
An applicant must be at most 30 years old if she wants to become an attaché and 35 if she plans to become a second secretary. Married applicants must have Saudi husbands.
Applications will be accepted on January 18-29 and the written tests and personal interviews will be held on February 15-16, the ministry said.