Today, a Princess leads Saudi Sports Federation. Princess Reema bint Bandar has been appointed President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports. In effect, this appointment is suggestive of monumental positive changes happening in Saudi society.
In February three women were appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia’s male-dominated financial sector in the space of just one week.
Sarah Al-Suhaimi was named chair of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul; Rania Nashar became the CEO of Samba Financial Group; while Latifa Al-Sabhan was appointed chief financial officer of Arab National Bank (ANB).
Other changes introduced this year include the announcement that physical education classes for girls would be introduced in schools, as well as a review of the guardianship system.
The Kingdom announced last month that it will lift a ban on women drivers from next June.
Chairman of the General Authority for Sport and Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee Turki Bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Asheikh on Friday announced these extensive changes in the Olympic Committee and sports federations.
An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan has become “the first woman to lead a federation” covering sporting activities for men and women.
In August 2016, the princess scored another first for women in Saudi Arabia when she was named by the Cabinet to a senior post in the Kingdom’s equivalent of a sports ministry.
A daughter of a former Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Princess Reema is a graduate scholar in museology from an American university. Prince Bandar is considered by many to be a survivalist and a cunning politician whose influence on Saudi politics have been remarkable.
Several women have this year been appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia, which is undergoing a huge program of reforms which includes moves to encourage more women into work.