Mounira Jamjoom says the economical empowerment of Saudi women is her “battle,” but it still won’t be enough to integrate women in society. To do that you need make women more visible in public life, and she hopes that the appointment of 30 women to the Shoura Council would help to achieve this:
Research shows that visibility is a key dimension of empowerment. It creates national role models and encourages younger women to advance in their careers. In Argentina, for example, women have made progress thanks to their national prominence. They hold high political office and are 39 percent of the parliament, compared to 6 per cent in 1990. Visibility fosters economic integration—Argentina’s women are now 40 percent of the workforce, according to the World Bank.
The engagement of women in the policy debate is critical. Women’s issues can become more salient in Shura Council discussions. The council’s advisory role means it can offer proposals and programs to executive bodies that emphasize women’s education, employment and civil, legal and social status.