Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has appointed the kingdom's first woman minister in a cabinet reshuffle that also saw the dismissal of four ministers and heads of the powerful religious police and judicial bodies.

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz appointed Noura Al Faiz as deputy minister for women's education, in a move considered a milestone in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul Aziz Khoja replaced Eyad Madani as the new minister of culture and information.Health Minister Dr Hamad Al Manie was replaced by Abdullah Al Rabeeh, the internationally acclaimed Saudi surgeon, who has led successful surgical separation of more than a dozen conjoined twins.

Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammad is the new minister of education who replaced Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Obaid. Faisal Bin Muammar was appointed as the deputy minister of education. At the central bank, Vice-Governor Mohammad Al Jasser was named to replace outgoing Governor Hamad Saud Al Sayyari.

The Saudi judiciary, which was in limelight with controversies, received a thorough overhaul. King Abdullah replaced Minister of Justice Shaikh Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Shaikh by Shaikh Mohammad Al Eisa. The king also issued decrees to restructure the Supreme Court and Senior Scholar's Commission. Shaikh Abdul Rahman Al Bunyan is the new chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Shaikh Ebrahim Al Gaith, head of Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (religious police), was replaced by Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Humaid.

Commenting on the reshuffle, Dr Naif Al Shamri, professor of political science at King Saud University, told Gulf News that these changes were aimed at injecting new blood into the government.

How will this benefit the country? Will this encourage more women to work?