Saudi Arabia’s new female prime minister has said she is “blessed” to be “a woman” and believes she is a victim of the countrys oppressive culture.
Speaking to Saudi Arabia TV channel Al-Arabiya, Saudi Arabia ‘s newly elected female prime Minister, Asma al-Hariri, said she was “bared with the responsibility” of carrying out a plan to address gender discrimination in Saudi society, and pledged that the government would “ensure justice for all”.
“I have never thought that I would be the person who would be able to be president of a country that discriminates against women,” she said.
“I am thankful for that privilege.”
She said that despite Saudi Arabias restrictive laws and regulations, it still had “a long way to go” and would “continue to make progress”.
“It is a huge responsibility,” she added.
“But we are making progress.”
The new woman leader also said that she would be making a “full return to the presidency” by 2019, and said she would “be making the best use of the time I have available”.
Asma al Hariri said she hoped the new female government would be “transparent, open and fair”, and would be transparent about gender discrimination.
The Saudi woman’s appointment is a landmark in Saudi culture.
In 2013, the country’s first female prime minster was banned from entering Saudi Arabia for five years after she became the first female to hold the position in the country.
Women have been barred from holding senior posts in the kingdom, and the country still prohibits women from driving or performing domestic duties.
Asma is the first woman to hold both the post of prime minister and the Saudi crown prince, and was appointed on Tuesday in the face of fierce opposition from the conservative Al Saud family.
In an interview with the state-run newspaper Al-Hayat last year, she said she felt “completely liberated” by the new role and would seek to “make the most of it”.
She said she had “no hesitation” in entering politics.
As the first of Saudi Arabia s seven female prime ministers, Asna was one of the first to take on the role, following a successful stint as education minister in 2012.
She took over the role in March this year and is expected to take up her new role soon.
In a separate interview with Al-Arabia, Asa’ab al-Zaher, an activist with the activist group Saudi Women, said Asma’s appointment was “a huge step forward for Saudi women”, and called for “serious changes” to Saudi society.
“It shows that the country is not only a country where women do not enjoy equality, but also a country in which they are subject to discrimination,” he said.
“The government must ensure justice for the women and make it a priority for the next generations.”