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German Chancellor Merkel Endorses “Significant Role of Women” In KSA

During her recent visit to Jeddah, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with a delegation of Saudi businesswoman headed by Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, to discuss the role of women and their impact on society.

Saudi businesswoman Basma Omair with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel mentioned that there had been “significant changes in the role of women” since her previous visit to the Kingdom in 2010.

“I have the impression that the country is in a phase of change and that a lot more is possible now than some years ago, but it’s still a long way away from having achieved what we would understand as equality,” Merkel said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Saudi King Salman during her visit to the Kingdom.

She referred to the historic first-time participation of women in Saudi Arabia’s elections for local municipal council seats in 2015.

Basmah Omair, the CEO of the Khadija bint Khuwailid Center, who was among the delegates said that the meeting included discussions on the developments in Saudi Arabia. Further talks revolved around women empowerment, their achievements in different fields, and future aspirations.

She also pointed out that the German Chancellor was impressed by the accomplishments made by Saudi women and said that Merkel was astonished due to the absence of it from the foreign media.

Saudi Gazette’s Editor in Chief Somaya Jabarti, who was also present at the meeting, stressed that Merkel felt the development in several fields in the kingdom that allowed female participation since her last visit to the Kingdom.

Saudi businesswoman Dina Al-Nahdi, during the meeting with Merkel, emphasized that female empowerment is one the main objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the government has been very supportive in this regard.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with Saudi businesswomen during a meeting to discuss the role of women in Saudi society.

She stated that the Kingdom is currently seeing a significant development in the history of the country, especially in the fields of renewable energy and its efforts to promote nationwide conservation of natural resources.

“With regard to this I did not find any difference between men and women, especially as we are working on big projects such as sustainable environmental management systems for industrial and economic cities and on private projects as well.”

Dina confirmed the measure of success for both men and women has always been the quality and professionalism.

The German leader, visiting the kingdom for the first time in seven years, was received by King Salman before holding talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller said: “The Kingdom and Germany have agreed to a proposal to set up a $200 million fund for empowerment of women within the framework of the G20.”

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