As Saudi Arabia continues to make strides for women in the Kingdom, a history-making appointment has been made in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs this week.

It was announced by Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the Saudi Islamic Minister, that the first female undersecretary in the Ministry has been appointed.

Dr. Leila bint Hamad Al-Kassem is now the undersecretary for planning and digital transformation, a decision which, according to the Ministry, is “a qualitative leap to empower women to work in the ministry’s sectors”.

Last year, Dr Al-Kassem made waves as she became the first female to lead the ministry’s governance department. She was appointed into this role by Sheikh Abdullatif.

As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030, there are many history-making changes taking place for women in the Kingdom.

Just three months after he stepped into his role as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in 2017, Mohammed bin Salman unveiled in a royal decree that women would be able to secure driving licenses from June 2018 and he has gone on to do much more.

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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