Saudi Arabia’s recent breakthroughs on gender equality have woken up a new generation of female trailblazers. Smashing every glass ceiling, these women are entrepreneurs, artists, and social activists in their own right and each one of them is a millennial making a difference.
We wouldn’t be surprised if we saw them in one of Forbes’ lists any time soon…
A female Saudi artist who championed the lift on the driving ban for women and said, “I hope it will be the beginning of a new era of balance”. She is a proud Saudi woman who encourages equal rights. Her artwork is unique and of mixed mediums, as she is known to use chocolate and candy wrappers in some of her pieces. Exhibiting at the Athr Gallery in Jeddah, Al Rabea recreates famous paintings and adds elements of the Arabic culture and traditions to them.
Adwa Al Arifi
Saudi trailblazer, Adwa Al Arifi, is a force to be reckoned with. Breaking down gender barriers, she has proven that football is not just a “man’s game”. Making history in February 2018, Al Arifi became the first woman to be appointed a committee member in the Saudi Arabia Football Federation with a goal for her to create the kingdom’s first women’s football team. Through the women’s team, the federation hopes to increase fan engagement and drive important campaigns, as Adwa heroically encourages even further equality and opportunities for women.
Saudi Arabia’s latest reforms didn’t just stop at driving or sport. In the last 4 years the kingdom has seen Saudi women taking on top ranking positions in companies worth millions of dollars and an increase of female nationals taking on jobs in the country’s private sector. Naziha Deriche is someone who had a part to play in the increase of women working as she set up Alajnabia – the first jobs board built specifically for Saudi women. Deriche is a 24 year old biomedical engineer and explained her basis of her enterprise, “It’s more of a social initiative. I wanted it to stimulate women’s empowerment.”
Showing true entrepreneurial and patriotic spirit, Tamara Abukhadra turned down a career with the United Nations to launch Jeddah’s first ever concept store – Homegrown Market. The initiative is in place to shine a light on Arabs and specifically, Saudi designers of the likes of SemSem, Kees Chic and LaSuna.