Jeddah: A woman in Saudi Arabia has been appointed editor-in-chief of a national newspaper, the first female journalist to be promoted to such a public position in a country with an appalling record on women’s rights.
Somayya Jabarti (pictured), a former deputy editor, has become the new boss at the helm of the Jeddah-based English daily Saudi Gazette, the paper’s departing head has announced.
“There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door,” Jabarti said after starting her new job, according to quotes carried by Al Arabiya News.
She added: “Being the first Saudi woman editor-in-chief is going to be double the responsibility … One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women.”
According to Jabarti, of around 20 Saudi Gazette reporters only three are male but the paper’s senior editorial positions are mainly held by men.
“The majority of our reporters are women — not because we are biased and choosing women over men. There are more women who are interested in being journalists, and who are journalists,” she said. “The success will not be complete unless I see my peers who are also Saudi women in the media, take other roles where they are decision-makers.”
News of her appointment was made public by the departing editor-in-chief, Khaled Almaeena.