Saudi woman named to senior government post for first time

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Riyadh—A Saudi woman has been named to a senior government post for the first time, authorities said on Wednesday shortly after a ban on women drivers was lifted as the conservative kingdom takes steps to modernise its image.

Twenty-four hours after King Salman issued a decree to end the ban on woman drivers, the government announced that a woman had been appointed as assistant mayor of Al Khubar governorate.

Eman Al-Ghamdi was given the post “as part of plan to boost the number of females in leadership positions in line with Vision 2030”, the Centre for International Communication at the Ministry of Culture and Information said in a statement.

The Saudi government has said Vision 2030, a vast plan of economic and social reforms, will raise women’s share of the labour market to 30 per cent from 22 per cent currently.

Saudi women rejoiced at their historic new freedom to drive on Wednesday, with some taking to the roads even though licences will not be issued for another nine months.

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