Saudi Arabia appoints first female newspaper editor

http://positivenews.org.uk/2014/culture/media/15078/saudi-arabia-appoints-female-newspaper-editor/

In brighter news, Saudi Arabia appoints the first female newspaper editor.The employment glass ceiling has long been off-limits to women in Saudi Arabia, but it’s hoped that this new appointment will strike within it a tiny crack that turns into an open door. Women in the Arab world, as in other areas of the world, have experienced discrimination and have been subject to restrictions of their freedoms and rights. So this is a huge breakthrough in the Middle East for women who hope to obtain the same equality as men, which they have been fighting for, for such a long time. This is the move that gender-rights activists hope will inspire more Saudi women to enter the workforce and seek leadership roles.The Saudi Gazette, an English-language daily with a circulation of 15,000, named former deputy editor Somayya Jabarti as its editor-in-chief. The newspaper, one of the few in the Kingdom that aren’t part-owned by Saudi royalty, has a reputation for being relatively liberal, at least by the standards of Saudi Arabia’s tightly controlled media, which makes this an even greater feat. Only around 15% of Saudi women work, but that figure has gradually increased since 2011. I hope that this will spur further progress. In recent months, women have begun to openly defy the Kingdom’s ban on female drivers, and also to petition for the right to marry without their fathers’ consent. This makes me feel a bit happy because my aunt lives in Saudi Arabia and I want her to be able to work freely without feeling like she is in danger, or that she can’t drive alone without feeling like she will be hurt.

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