The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has appointed four women to top positions in the 47-year-old organization with the aim of bolstering the pan-Islamic group’s social role.
The new appointees, from Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Algeria and Yemen, will act as directors at the OIC’s political affairs, cultural and social affairs, media and information and women and family departments.
There are 12 women working in the general secretariat of the OIC, the world’s second-largest international organization after the United Nations, consisting of 57 countries in total.
Saudi Maha Akeel, who was appointed the OIC’s new director of media and information, was an English-language journalist
before working as the editor-in-chief for the organization’s flagship magazine for six years.
Muhlah Ahmad from Mauritania was appointed as the director general for cultural, social and family affairs.
She served as Mauritania’s education minister between 2005 and 2007.
Fadilah Qareen from Algeria, who joined the OIC in 2014, was appointed director of social and family affairs.
“We are currently setting long-term and short-term goals. We must establish a stable directorate for social and family issues in the Islamic world. That entails having a plan for quality assurance and having consistent developmental strategies,” Qareen said. “We must have strategies for women empowerment, childcare, youth empowerment, preservation of family values and social security for the elderly and those with special needs.”
Noriyah Al-Hamami, who is from Yemen, was appointed the OIC’s humanitarian affairs director and international organizations and European Union
Al-Hamami said she aimed to bring about positive changes in issues such as women employment.
“Women should take on more leading positions in the Islamic world and branch out to all areas and fields of society. Hopefully, by time we will improve the image the Western world has of a Muslim woman,” she said.
“The OIC is committed to demonstrating how women can play important roles in public life,” OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani said.
“It is important not just for empowering women, but in correcting misconceptions about the role of women in Islam,” Madani said.