Addressing the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland recently, Saudi princess Reema bint Bandar made an eloquent case for gender equality as a driving force for economic change in the Kingdom.
The princess said the Kingdom is advancing the cause of women-a necessary pre-requisite for the economic growth. She further said that it is impossible to function as a family if members are persistently separated.
Princess Reema went on to say that the Saudi kingdom’s latest efforts at attaining gender parity is not meant to appease the West so they will finally get Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International off their backs, but rather their efforts at gender equality is because that is the right thing to do.
Princess Reema, the first woman to lead a Saudi sports body, said that sport, entertainment and culture are at the heart of the driving force to improve the quality of life in Saudi Arabia.
The princess accused the global media of ‘hypocrisy’ in covering the Saudi transformation.
She said that she found global media portrayal of the kingdom’s efforts as destructive on a daily basis, and damaging to the women she is trying to inspire. She added that they are not working for anyone outside the nation and that their efforts are for the women and men of the nation so that together they will attain the transformation that they collectively yearn for. She said it is through this, they intend to benefit the populace especially the youths so that the kingdom can assert itself as a global player.
The princess went on saying a behavioral shift does not happen overnight. Sometimes economic factors drive it, just like sometimes money is needed so a family may eventually let their daughter to go to work.
The vocal princess further went on saying that she is not the only woman in Saudi Arabia that feels this way or working towards the achievement of their stated objectives but actually she only represents millions of Saudi women most of whom are a lot more competent and qualified than she is. She said all she can hope for is to do them justice.