Saudi Women in the Majlis Al-Shura
Clients Student Government of Dar Al-Hekma College
Earlier this year, Jones Day Saudi Arabia sponsored an event put on by the Student Government of Dar Al-Hekma College entitled "Saudi Women in the Majlis Al-Shura" at the college’s auditorium. The Majlis Al-Shura is the consultative council that examines the country’s issues and discusses laws and regulations that are passed according to Islamic jurisprudence.
The event focused on encouraging females to contribute to society and to become active members of it, specifically within the legal and governmental fields. On September 25, 2011, the King of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to vote and to stand in municipal elections beginning in 2015. Although this may seem overdue in other societies, it is a very significant development for Saudi women and has been met with great enthusiasm.
The event began with a welcoming speech by the Representative of the School of Law and International Relations, Asma Al-Bakri. Their highnesses, Princess Dua’a, Princess Latifah bin Mohammed bin Thenyan Al-Saud, and Princess Um Faisal bin Mohammed bin Abdullah, all of whom are involved in many charitable and business activities, were also in attendance. The first speaker, Dr. Elham Hasanin, a part-time advisor to the Majlis, gave the audience an introduction to the Majlis Al-Shura, its role in society, its chair and its members, and how decisions are made. She expressed her pride in King Abdullah’s decision to give Saudi women the right to be members of the Majlis Al-Shura. She encouraged the students to embrace these new opportunities and responsibilities in Saudi society.
The second speaker, Ms. Rasha Al-Shebily, the only full-time female working in the Majlis – as an administrator – showed the audience a short film about the history of the Majlis Al-Shura and its development over the years. She spoke about her experience and the type of obstacles she has faced in her position. The event ended by displaying a short film about the importance of the role of women in society done by Dar Al-Hekma College students.