Women are on the move in Saudi Arabia, whether at school, at work, or increasingly behind the wheel of a car. Sixty percent of university graduates in Saudi Arabia are female, and armed with their diplomas and a will to succeed, these women are entering the workplace.The Financial Times reports that in the past six years alone, women’s participation in the workforce has nearly doubled from 9 to 16 percent.
Trail-blazing Saudi journalist Somayya Jabarti is a shining example of this trend. With her recent appointment as editor-in-chief of the English-language Saudi Gazette, Jabarti became the first woman to hold the top job at a national newspaper in Saudi Arabia. By starting out as a local desk editor and rising through the ranks, Somayya Jabarti is leading the way for Saudi women’s participation in the media.
Calling her “determined and dedicated”, the Saudi Gazette’s departing editor-in-chief, Khaled Almaeena, made it known that “[i]t was not a question of gender but of merit that decided and earned her this opportunity”. Jabarti hopes that her appointment will lead to more Saudi women “[taking] other roles where they are decision-makers” and to the widening of cracks in the glass ceiling that women face.