Saudi Arabia’s appointment of women to the Kingdom’s Human Rights Council (HRC) aligns with the leadership’s efforts to support human rights, President of the HRC Awwad Alawwad said on Thursday.
“The decision to appoint thirteen women to the council’s board, making up half of the board members, is a continuation of the leadership’s efforts to empower women to occupy leadership positions in various fields,” he said.
Saudi Arabia has in recent years made great strides towards establishing gender equality in the region.
The Kingdom’s economy made the biggest progress globally toward gender equality since 2017, according to a World Bank report released earlier this year.
Saudi Arabia was the country to make “the biggest improvement globally” since 2017 according to the World Bank press release, including advances in women’s mobility, sexual harassment, retirement age and economic activity.
In 2018, the ban on women drivers was lifted after King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued a royal decree granting them the right to do so.
In August 2019, the Kingdom began allowing women above 21 to travel abroad or obtain a passport without the permission of a male guardian.
The reforms came as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and includes increasing women’s labor force.