Saudi women are playing a pivotal developmental role in Vision 2030; which has placed them at the forefront of many sectors. Besides, enhancing their participation in various positions in the local labor market, according to Ahlam Bint Abdulrahman Yanqsar; the director of the General Department for Cultural Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ahlam joined the list of the first Saudi women promoted in leadership positions within a short span of time; thanks to a raft of royal decrees paved way for women to be an active element in the economic development.
Yanqsar represented Saudi Arabia at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York; in which she delivered the Kingdom speech in the general discussion of the item on the advancement of women. This is within the work of the UN Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee.
Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency, she said that hard work is rewarded with greater responsibilities. “The Kingdom’s approach to change was the main engine to accelerate the steps of structural transformations. Besides, building them in a way that seeks the contribution of women in work; in addition to prepare the environment for them. This is to keep pace with the changes and achieve success under the wise leadership.”
She emphasized that ever since the foundation of the Kingdom; women received attention and support. She had opportunities for education and scholarships abroad, and got care equal to that of men. “Women have been and are still an active contributor to the development process. They also have a great role and impact on society.
Capabilities of Saudi women
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a pioneer and in the forefront of government agencies that believed in the capabilities of women; employing their skills and enabling them to assume leadership positions as soon as they proved their worth and practical efficiency,” she said.
Saudi women diplomats are participating in international forums, attending bilateral and multiple committees and meetings, and handling political, economic, cultural, developmental and educational files, Yanqsar said and cited brilliant examples of Saudi women in the diplomatic field.
The prominent among them is Dr. Thoraya Obaid, who held the position of executive director of the United Nations Population Fund and assistant secretary-general of the United Nations. Similar is the case of Princess Haifa Bint Abdulaziz Al-Muqrin; appointed as Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
After Princess Haifa’s historic appointment, Princess Reema Bint Bandar was named as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold the position of ambassador in the history of the Kingdom, followed by the appointment of the second Saudi ambassador Dr. Amal Al-Mouallemy to Norway.
There are dozens of examples preceding them of women who got leadership positions in the ministries of education and health, chambers of commerce and international federations and were appointed members of the Shoura Council.
“I had the honor of getting the role director-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and this confidence that I received from Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan comes with great responsibility,” she also said.
Improving the image of Saudi women
Yanqsar previously worked for the Saudi embassy in the United Kingdom for 10 years and served in several departments in the embassy, which resulted in improving the image of women and transferring Saudi culture abroad. She stressed that with the launch of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, women empowerment has become more effective in order to achieve comprehensive development, economic integration, and growth of knowledge and culture.
Yanqsar said that her family had a significant role in her illustrious career; particularly her father who worked at the foreign ministry. She connected to the world since childhood. She also had the passion to learn about different cultures and people. This appeared in her ability to take responsibility and make appropriate decisions in her life.
Later, she graduated from the University of London and got a master’s degree. She then worked as deputy head of the economic and cultural department at the Embassy in the United Kingdom; and then assumed responsibility for the economic and cultural file in the North American administration at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.