Muslim Women's Day: 5 women leading change in Saudi Arabia
- 27 March 2018
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Collage (from left): Dr Tamader Al Rammah, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development, Saudi Arabia / via Khaleej Times; Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, Vice-President for Development and Planning, Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority, January 25, 2018. Photo by World Economic Forum / Boris Baldinger – via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0; Aseel Al Hamad, first Saudi female member at Saudi Arabian Motor Federation / Twitter / @ASEEL_ALHAMAD; Raha Moharrak, graphic designer, mountain climber and first Arab brand ambassador for Tag Heuer; and Dona Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, Saudi female boxer / via Arab News.
The 27th of March is Muslim Women’s Day, which seeks to celebrate the voices and experiences of Muslim women worldwide. Muslim Women’s Day is the brainchild of Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Editor-in-Chief of MuslimGirl, and the website is spreading the word via different media partnerships in the United States.
To celebrate the changes happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we’re dedicating our Muslim Women’s Day piece to the fierce and fabulous women who are fighting the good fight.
1. H.R.H. PRINCESS REEMA BINT BANDAR AL SAUD
A Saudi entrepreneur, social advocate, philanthropist and well-respected public figure in the Saudi sports community, Princess Reema is viewed as one of the kingdom’s top role models. Formally the CEO of Alfa International, a Saudi luxury retailer, she was named one of the most powerful Arab women in 2014 by Forbes for her business leadership.
Princess Reema’s philanthropic efforts include being a founding member of Zahra Association, a society dedicated to the awareness and support of breast cancer patients, as well as Alf Khair, a social enterprise empowering human capital and personal development through a number of educational and training initiatives.
In August 2016, she was appointed as vice president for development and planning of the General Sports Authority, a governmental body focused on developing Saudi sports. In October last year, she was the first-ever woman to be appointed as President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports.
2. DONA MOHAMMED AL-GHAMDI
Last February, Dona al-Ghamdi became the first Saudi woman to ever win an international trophy in boxing after securing a gold medal in the women’s International Boxing Championship in Balqa, Jordan.
The 20-year-old Al-Ghamdi is also the first Saudi female boxer to compete at the regional and international levels. She already holds three black belts and four other medals in boxing. That’s the definition of fierce!
3. ASEEL AL HAMAD
I thank all those who selected me to join the judging committee members of the #PRArabia competition for year 2018 for the auto sector. @pr_arabia_sa@Saudi_Gazette@MixFM_AlaaKayal@fia@SAMF_GOV— ASEEL AL HAMAD (@ASEEL_ALHAMAD) 5 February 2018
Prior to the royal decree issued in September 2017 that will allow Saudi women to drive, women in Saudi Arabia had little involvement in the motor sports community. However, Aseel Al Hamad was already setting precedents by being the first Saudi female board member at the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). She also represents women at the motorsport commission of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), making her the first Saudi woman to join both federations.
Al Hamad is an interior designer and an entrepreneur, having founded her own interior-design firm, IDEGREE Design, in 2009. Her love for cars made her the first-ever Saudi woman to own a Ferrari sportscar of her own. Recognising her contributions in the Saudi motor space, Al Hamad was appointed as a jury member for the sixth PR Arabia Auto Awards, which took place earlier this month.
4. TAMADER BINT YOUSEF AL RAMMAH
In February 2018, Dr Tamader Al Rammah was appointed as Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development, a senior cabinet position that has never before been held by a woman in the Kingdom. In addition to her new appointment, Al Rammah was also assigned as a supervisor of the Social Welfare and Family Agency.
Al Rammah is a faculty member at the College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University. She holds a doctoral degree in radiology and medical engineering from Manchester University. Prior to her cabinet position, she was a Human Rights Commission Representative of Saudi Arabia from 2016.
5. RAHA MOHARRAK
Raha Moharrak posing for a Tag Heuer ad as the brand ambassador.
Raha Moharrak only started exploring her passion for climbing mountainous summits about seven years ago, but she has already conquered eight summits. Moharrak works as a graphic designer in Dubai, and in 2011, she started out by reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain summit in Africa. Two years later, Moharrak became the first Saudi woman and the youngest Arab to reach summit Everest.
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