Shihana Alazzaz is one of the most prominent Saudi female figures. Today, she occupies a remarkable position in one of the most vital sectors in the country, as the General Legal Counsel and Secretary General of the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Alazzaz talked about women’s empowerment in Saudi Arabia and the qualitative shift brought about by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“Today, the Saudi woman is walking at a steady pace and firm determination behind the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, an inspiring Crown Prince and an ambitious vision, after overcoming the challenges of the past, with the acceleration of the development of laws and procedures that guarantee her rights and ensure her participation in both economic and societal progress,” she said.
She encouraged Saudi women to actively engage in the development of their country.
“We must continue the march and work with determination without any delay or retreat, to seize the opportunities and enter the labor market with competence, pioneering spirit and open-mindedness that accepts competition and risk,” she underlined.
Asked about the achievements of Saudi female leaders, Alazzaz stressed that societies flourish with the effectiveness of their members, women and men.
“Undoubtedly, the success of women is positively reflected on the family and the entire community, and is considered one of the foundations for advancement and prosperity. Human civilizations, throughout history, have witnessed the positive and inevitable role of women,” she affirmed.
Underlining the importance of Saudi women’s engagement in the Kingdom’s march towards achieving Vision 2030, Alazzaz called on female leaders and entrepreneurs to consolidate their successes and aim for broader horizons.
“Let us imagine what our societies can achieve by stimulating other aspects of women’s engagement in the labor market, economy, entrepreneurship, science, education and research, in addition to their participation in decision-making, drawing strategies, setting policies, strengthening international relations and diplomacy, and other contributions in which women can have a leadership, effective and positive role,” she stated.
According to the PIF secretary-general, the successes of Saudi women in some areas have surpassed their counterparts from all over the world. She emphasized that their names have emerged in the fields of medicine, engineering, literature and others, adding that some of them have received international patents, awards and certificates of appreciation.
Alazzaz told Asharq Al-Awsat that the qualitative shift brought about by Vision 2030 was based on an important strategic principle: “The human being is the change maker in economic and social development. Accordingly, the vision adopted fundamental principles for empowering women socially and economically, making them an efficient partner in the development of the homeland.”
Asked about her role in PIF, she said: “My work in the Public Investment Fund is a professional and patriotic duty in the first place, and a proof of the confidence of our leaders in the national women cadres and the availability of opportunities based on competence without discrimination.”
“We always strive to achieve more, fulfill the aspirations of our leaders, and efficiently cooperate with every colleague and official,” Alazzaz concluded.