Saudi Arabia’s top, renowned, female-only higher educational institution, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, kicked off the country’s first conference on Saudi Women Studies this week. The event, which was launched along with an accompanying art exhibition entitled “Saudi Women: Present and Future,” was held at the university’s Center for Social Research and Women Studies, with an introductory film on the center and a speech by Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research Dr. Ahmad Al-Ghadeer, as reported by Arab News.
According to the university’s website, a number of other speakers were present at the event, many who highlighted that the conference fell within the university’s vision and strategic goals that aim “to utilize the scientific research in the services of women and to contribute to the success of development plans in accordance with [V]ision 2030.” The conference included five sessions that dealt with women and their roles, needs, and priorities, the challenges they face today, their impact on society, and the various efforts being made by the Kingdom to empower its women.
Dr. Maha Al-Khashil, Director of the Center for Social Research and Women’s Studies, re-iterated in her speech that the event was organized to achieve the university’s strategic goals in implementing scientific research, to discuss women’s issues, and to enhance their role in supporting national transformation. Subjects that were discussed over the five sessions included the topic of “Women and Media,” “leadership’s role in supporting women participation in development,” and “the role of women in literature, language and history.”
On the sidelines of the conference, the Saudi Women: Present and Future,” art exhibition was curated to shed light on the Saudi woman artist “who expresses herself with transparency.” It also looked at the vision of Saudi artists about women. In addition, a set of works were displayed by distinguished students at different levels of the Visual Arts Department at the university’s College of Arts and Design.