Saudi Arabian women to enlist in their country's military - report

The Defense Ministry will now allow women to enlist in the army's air, ground, navy and missile force branches, according to reports.

By
October 6, 2019 17:31
Samira al-Ghamdi, a practicing psychologist, smiles while making a stop to refuel her car as she dri

Samira al-Ghamdi, a practicing psychologist, smiles while making a stop to refuel her car as she drives to work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 24, 2018.. (photo credit: ZOHRA BENSEMRA/REUTERS)

Saudi Arabian women will now be allowed to join the military for the first time, the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat reported on Thursday.

This is another step toward equality in the historically ultra-conservative country. 

The Saudi Defense Ministry will now allow women to enlist in the army's air, ground, navy and missile force branches, the paper reported. 

“Women’s admission into the most important ministry in the kingdom is a major step in the right direction,” Hassan Al Shihiri, an ex-official at the Defense Ministry, told Asharq Al Awsat.

In the last few years, Saudi Arabia has made multiple and dramatic social and economic reforms, mainly involving women's rights. 

Last year, for example, women were allowed to drive cars and join different security service jobs, including drug combat, prison guards and criminal investigations. In August, women were also given the freedom to travel abroad without a male guardian's approval. 


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