Princess Haifa takes the oath before Saudi King Salman on Tuesday. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: A new Saudi female ambassador was among six envoys, who took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdul aziz as part of a move to boost women’s empowerment.

Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz was sworn in Tuesday as the kingdom’s ambassador in Spain, becoming Saudi Arabia’s sixth female envoy.

In 2020, Princess Haifa was appointed as the Saudi delegate to the Unesco.

Other envoys, sworn in on Tuesday at the royal palace in Riyadh, were the kingdom’s newly appointed ambassadors in Japan, Hungary, Mauritius, Uganda and Bulgaria.

Last year, Saudi Arabia named two female ambassadors, raising to five the total number of Saudi Arabia’s women envoys at the time.

Haifa Al Jedea was appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s mission to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, while Nesreen Al Shebel was posted as ambassador to Finland.

In 2019, Princess Reema bint Bandar was appointed as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, becoming the first woman in the kingdom’s history to serve as ambassador.

In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, ending a decades-old ban on female driving. In another move enhancing women’s empowerment, Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel without a male guard’s approval and to apply for a passport, easing long-time controls on them.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has ramped up efforts to empower women in different walks of life and appoint them in leading positions as part of dramatic changes in the kingdom.

Last September, Saudi civil aviation authorities said they appointed a woman, Ibtisam Al Shihri, as a spokesperson to promote links with the public and media, answer inquiries of local and foreign media and furnish them with credible information.

In July, Manal Al Luhaibi was named the director-general of education in the Saudi port governorate of Jeddah, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold this post in the kingdom.