In yet another breakthrough for women’s rights and female representation in Saudi Arabia, the first female head of a co-ed university has been appointed.

Professor Lilac Al Safadi was named head of the Saudi Electonic University over the weekend after royal approval. Under the same decree, five presidents were also named at other Saudi universities.

After graduating from the University of Wollongong in Australia where she gained a PhD in computer science, Professor Al Safadi has gone on to carve an impressive career for herself for the last 20 years in consulting, strategic leadership, business development.

As well as this, she has also served as a faculty member at King Saud University for the last 16 years. She has also worked and an advisor to the Governor of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Kingdom.


Upon the announcement, she expressed her “deepest gratitude” about her new appointment on Twitter.

This appointment coincides with 13 new female members joining the country’s Human Rights Council (HRC).

As confirmed by the royal decree of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the reshuffled council has kicked off its four-year term with half the positions given to women.

“This step is another indication that the Kingdom strives “to empower women to leading positions in various fields, and help achieve what is best for the country,” Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al Awwad, the Head of the HRC, said.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has celebrated many milestones when it comes to women’s rights and female empowerment. The Kingdom recently crossed another milestone, which sparked immense pride on social media.

After Moaid Mahjoub, Director of Government Affairs, External Relations and Protocol at Princess Jawahar Al Saud’s Private Office, posted a photo on Twitter recently of a female member of the Saudi Royal Guard performing her duties, which is a history-making moment.

It was announced in October last year women would be able to start joining the military and land forces in the Kingdom in a wide range of positions including corporals and sergeants. This could be across any of the armed forces in Saudi Arabia including the Strategic Missile Forces, Armed Forces Medical Services, Saudi Arabian Navy and the Air Force.

This move is part of the many initiatives under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 scheme, an ambitious post-oil economic plan, which has a major focus on women’s rights in the Kingdom.

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Feature Image: WLS Future Learning Lab