JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has appointed four Arab women to top positions in the 47-year-old organization.
The OIC is the world’s second-largest international organization after the United Nations, consisting of 57 countries. Iyad Madani, the OIC’s secretary general, is committed to women’s empowerment, according to a report.
The new appointees, from Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Algeria and Yemen, will work at the OIC’s headquarters in Jeddah in the departments of cultural and social affairs, media and information, women and family, and political affairs. There are 12 women working in the general secretariat, the report said.
Saudi Maha Aqeel, the OIC’s new director of media and information, is one of the first women to take up a leading position at the organization. She worked as an English-language journalist before moving to work at the OIC as the editor in chief for the magazine of the organization. Six years later she was promoted to her current position.
Speaking to a local publication, Aqeel said that the OIC provides equal job opportunities and promotions for everyone, based on qualifications and performance.
She said her brief is to highlight the political, economic, cultural, social, scientific and humanitarian work of the organization, including the Palestinian cause, Islamophobia and the fight against terrorism and extremism.
Muhlah Ahmad from Mauritania is the director general for cultural, social and family affairs. She served as her country’s education minister between 2005 and 2007.
“The Muslim world faces many challenges currently, mainly extremism which must be countered. We must raise the awareness of young people by spreading the right values of Islam,” she said.
Fadilah Qrain from Algeria, who joined the OIC in 2014, was appointed director of social and family affairs. She said her goals include boosting the role of women in the Muslim world and providing better care for children and the youth. She also wants to protect family values and the institution of marriage, and support the elderly and persons with special needs.
Nouriah Abed Al-Hamami, who represented Yemen at four ministerial meetings of the OIC, and was the first Yemeni woman to work in the diplomatic field, was appointed director of the human affairs department.
She said her aim is to ensure many women take up leadership positions, work toward changing perceptions in the West about Muslim women, and make sure there is greater respect for Islam.