A journalist from Saudi Arabia created history by becoming the first woman to read the evening news bulletin on the state-owned Saudi TV channel. Weam Al Dakheel read news with a male newscaster on national television, defying traditional gender norms of men reading the more political evening news and women participating in morning cooking shows and weather reports.
Along with Weam Al Dakheel, there are other women too who are working in different roles for the channel.
Though women have presented news on private networks, this is the first time a woman became the newscaster on Saudi Arabia’s national TV channel.
Saudi Arabia has been easing gender restrictions under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in a bid to open up the conservative kingdom. Saudi Arabia was the only country to ban women from driving, but that changed in June 2018 when women were allowed to drive for the first time to much fanfare. In March, Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever women’s run, allowing women to participate in sports due to pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). More than 1,500 women participated in the event.
In September 2018, a Saudi airline said it will recruit women as co-pilots and flight attendants. Women were also allowed to attend football matches for the first time in January 2018.