Guest Blogger – Michelle Chettiath served as the Girl Up intern in 2014.
With International Women’s Day right around the corner, the news of Somayya Jabarti being appointed Saudi Arabia’s first female newspaper editor is pure poetry.
In a country that is notoriously conservative, where women are banned from driving and journalists can be imprisoned for writing about controversial topics such as religion and women’s rights, Somayya’s newest position as editor of the English language Saudi Gazette is a milestone for Saudi women.
As an experienced reporter and graduate in European language and literature, Somayya is both smart and capable. “It was not a question of gender, but of merit that decided and earned her this opportunity” Khaled Al Meena, former editor of the Saudi Gazette, told CNN. Journalism is very much a male-dominated field in Saudi Arabia, but Somayya is more than ready to face the doubts and objections. “There will be challenges, but there is ground to be broken. This is just the starting point,” Somayya said.
Somayya’s fabulousity does not stop here. She has volunteered at youth summer programs, visited refugee camps, and championed for women’s emancipation. Her leadership is sure to inspire girls around the world.
Please join us in celebrating this monumental achievement!