Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s religious authorities are working on a strategy to further empower women personnel to serve female visitors at the two holiest mosques and help spread moderate Islam, a Saudi official has said.
The strategy is being worked out by a state agency in charge of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina to disseminate their moderate message globally.
“Empowering women in light of Islamic values is a religious, national, societal and developmental responsibility,” chief of the Religious Affairs Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Abdulrahman Al Sudais said.
“Highlighting women’s efforts and role at the two holy mosques lies in the network of religious and awareness services provided for female worshippers and visitors,” added the official.
Millions of Muslims from across the globe flock to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in and around Mecca, and make Umrah or a minor pilgrimage that can be undertaken around the year.
In July last year, three Saudi women were among 11 new assistants appointed at the agency in charge of the Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque.
Last January, 34 women were, moreover, appointed to senior jobs at the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques to develop services for female pilgrims.
The step was part of efforts aimed to empower qualified Saudi women in senior positions geared to serve female visitors of Islam’s two holiest sites.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made big strides in empowering women as part of massive changes in the kingdom.
In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, ending a decades-old ban on female driving.
Two female ambassadors were among 11 Saudi envoys, who took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdulaziz in January.