Saudi Arabia appoints first female director-general in the Foreign Ministry

Over the past few weeks, Saudi Arabia has made many history-making appointments with women taking on roles they never have before in the Kingdom.

Another historical appointment has been made with the announcement from the Saudi Foreign Ministry that Ahlam Bint Abdulrahman Yanksar would take on the role of director-general of the ministry’s department of cultural affairs.

This makes her the first female figure to hold such a senior post in the Kingdom, per .

Having obtained a master’s degree in international business administration from the University of London, Ahlam has had a successful career working in both the Ministry’s undersecretary for political and economic affairs. She has also worked in the Saudi embassy in London, where she studied, in the economic and cultural section.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s General Presidency for the Affairs appointed 10 women into senior roles at the Two Holy Mosques.

These latest appointments are just a few of the many things have changed for women in the last few years in the Kingdom since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in 2017.

Under his Vision 2030 initiative, an ambitious post-oil economic plan, there has been a major focus on women’s rights in the Kingdom.

Just three months after he stepped into the role in 2017, the Crown Prince revealed in a royal decree, women would be able to secure driving licenses from June 2018.

Then, in March 2018, it was announced by the Ministry of Justice that women who are divorced in the country would be able to instantly retain custody of their children.

Under his plans, women are now also able to attend sports events in stadiums in three cities, female students in the Kingdom are now allowed to carry their phones while on campus and as of August 2019, women aged over 21 are now allowed to travel independently.



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