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Saudi woman becomes Kingdom’s first female newspaper editor | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Somayya Jabarti (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Somayya Jabarti (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Somayya Jabarti (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—A Saudi English-language daily newspaper announced on Sunday that it was to become the first in the Kingdom to appoint a female editor-in-chief.

The Saudi Gazette’s new chief, Somayya Jabarti, formerly occupied the post of assistant editor-in-chief of the paper, and before that held the same post at another title, Arab News.

Although a number of Saudi women have held senior positions at newspapers, and some have risen to became magazine editors—especially those which specialized in women’s issues and social affairs—Jabarti is the first woman to edit a daily newspaper.

Jabarti has worked in English-language journalism in Saudi Arabia for 17 years, and holds a BA in English from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. She began her career as a translator at the Saudi Gazette in 1997, after five years in the Ministry of Education.

Jabarti was previously assistant editor-in-chief of Arab News, which is part of the HH Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG)—which includes Asharq Al-Awsat—and was also the first woman to hold that post in a Saudi title, after rising to head of the news department, executive manager, and managing editor.

She moved to the Saudi Gazette in 2011.

The appointment of a Saudi woman to head a major daily newspaper comes at a time when Saudi women have achieved a number of advances recently, most prominently on the Shura Council, after 30 women joined the council last year.

Women are also expected to participate in municipal elections as voters and candidates in two years’ time, currently a male monopoly.