Saudi royal shake-up places two women in government roles

Saudi royal shake-up places two women in government roles
1 min read
04 July, 2022
Saudi Arabia's king selected on Sunday two new women to take on government roles
Saudi women have been given bigger access to education, employment and freedoms in recent years [Getty]

Two women were among a new batch of royal-appointed government officials in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The appointments were issued in a royal decree on Sunday by King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Princess Haifa Al-Saud, daughter of King Faisal who was assassinated in 1975, was appointed as deputy minister of tourism. Alshihana Al-Azzaz, a lawyer, was appointed the cabinet’s deputy secretary-general.

Al-Saud thanked the king and crown prince for their "generous trust" in her on her Twitter page.

In recent years, Saudi women have gained better access to education, employment, and been given more freedoms. It comes as a part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative, which partly aims to promote a softer and less conservative image of the kingdom.

In February last year, the Saudi defence ministry said women could join the armed forces.

The lifting of other restrictions means women in the kingdom can drive, attend sporting events, and travel without a man's permission.

However, rights groups have urged authorities to release women rights activists who have been imprisoned for their activism.