فاطمة صالح

Fatima Saleh

Journalist

Mrs. Al-Rumah appointed first Saudi female Deputy Minister

According to a Royal Decree from King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz, Tumader bint Youssef Al-Rumah has been appointed as Deputy to the Minister of Labor and Social Development, becoming the first female to occupy such a high-level post.
Al-Rumah’s appointment came as part of a series of Royal Decrees issued at the end of February 2018 and many are considering it a move to elevate the youth of Saudi Arabia to leadership positions in several fields, especially the economy and security.

As a result of the Decree, observers believe that it won’t be long before Saudi woman are appointed at the very highest levels as ministers, especially bearing in mind the immense changes being brought about by other recent decrees issued by the political leadership.

According to these decrees, women were granted many rights that they have been deprived of for years, such as the right to drive, enter sports arenas and stadiums, expand their own participation in artistic and sports events, and conclude governmental services without their guardian’s consent.

Over the past few years, many Saudi females have reached leading positions for the first time in the Kingdom, such as Sarah Al-Suhaimi, who heads the Saudi Stock Market, and Fatima Baashen, who was appointed as spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington. This is in addition to the appointment of 30 women to the Shura Council.

Tumader Al-Rumah was previously Undersecretary to the Minister of Labor for Saudism, the department charged with placing Saudi nationals in many jobs in both the public and private sector. She was the general supervisor of Social Welfare and Family Program before being promoted to Deputy Minister.

Al-Rumah is the second Deputy Undersecretary at the state level, representing her country in the United Nations Commission for Social Development. She spoke at the Committee's 56th session about the Kingdom’s "2030 Vision", which is based on the three main axes of a vibrant society, a prosperous economy and an ambitious country.

At the UN session, she also revealed that the National 2020 Program’s goal is to increase the participation and economic empowerment of all society members, increase women's participation in the labor market, integration of people with disabilities into society, and increasing the contribution of productive families to the economy.

Al-Rumah was awarded a Ph.D. in Radiology and Medical Engineering from the Faculty of Medicine and Human Sciences from the University of Manchester, UK, in 2007. Prior to that, she received her Master's Degree in CT Scan Technology from the University of Wales, Bangor, in 2003.

She also served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at King Saud University and as Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Physics at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.

Women in this article

Fatima Salem Baashen, spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington. She is the first Saudi woman to be appointed to this high position; she took office in September 2017.

Sara Jamaz Al-Suhaimi is a renowned Saudi businesswoman and economist who heads the board of the Financial Market Company Tadawul.

Tumder bint Yousef Al-Rumah is the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

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