The house encourages female beginner writers. Image Credit: Screen grab

Cairo: A group of women have joined hands and set up the first publishing house run by females in Saudi Arabia, a state television has reported.

The house, launched four years ago by a group of Saudi women, has participated in a book fair being held in the Eastern Province, according to Saudi television Al Ekhbariya.

The house prints and publishes books by women authors.

Recalling the birth of the house, Nawara Al Maghrabi, a co-founder, told the television: “My partner in the project happened to be in the US preparing for such a project. I was also in the kingdom working on the same. We met and discussed the project.”

They later initiated what Al Maghrabi described as the first publishing house set up by Saudi women.

The house encourages female beginner writers.

“The reason why I turned to this house is that 90 per cent of its crew are women,” said female author Fatma Al Baqshi, citing women designers, writers and illustrators among workers.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has vigorously pursued a drive to empower women in different walks of life as part of dramatic 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.

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.

Two female ambassadors were among 11 Saudi envoys, who took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdulaziz in January.