Space and the Empowerment of Saudi Women
Saudi astronaut Rayana Barnawi. (Saudi Space Commission)

Space and the Empowerment of Saudi Women

Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, March 2

A few days ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it would send the first Saudi female astronaut, Rayana Barnawi, to the International Space Station during the second quarter of this year. She will be accompanied by a male counterpart, Ali Al-Qarni. However, it is worth noting that Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud was the first Arab and Saudi astronaut, having traveled to space in 1985. The selection of Barnawi is a major step forward in the field of women’s empowerment, and a direct result of Vision 2030, which was initiated and is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This is a remarkable accomplishment that is sure to inspire women everywhere. Space travel is no longer a matter of entertainment or luxury, nor is it political propaganda for a particular country or regime. It has become an essential part of modern life, especially as the world has become increasingly crowded and resources have become scarce. Consequently, talk of a “space economy” began to emerge. Studies, particularly in the US, have shown that investing in space industries yields a superior return on every dollar spent, and these inventions and discoveries ultimately benefit the people of Earth with innovative and peaceful applications. Considering this, the Saudi Space Commission launched the kingdom’s astronaut program in September of last year. The aim of the program is to train experienced Saudi personnel to undertake long- and short-term space flights, participate in international experiments and research, and take advantage of the promising opportunities that the space sector around the world has to offer. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking strides towards international contribution to serve humanity through its astronaut program. Health, sustainability, and space technology are at the forefront of the program’s goals. The country is committed to finding creative solutions to economic dilemmas. With the launch of Barnawi into space, the kingdom is investing in human capital, which is the best and most fruitful type of investment. The Council of the Saudi Space Commission is dedicated to recruiting top university graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to its ranks. This will ensure that the kingdom is competitive in the global race towards space exploration. It will increase Saudi Arabia’s presence on the map of countries investing in space science. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is demonstrating its belief in full equality between men and women by preparing the first Saudi female astronaut to visit space. This reflects its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, such as equal access to education, health, economic and social rights, as well as the transparency of rights within the justice system and the participation of women in global development. Just ten years ago, Saudi women were fighting for the right to obtain a driver’s license; now, women are on their way to space and hold advanced places in diplomatic and ministerial positions. Without exaggeration or underestimation, the preparation of a Saudi female astronaut reflects the confidence of the country’s senior leadership, under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the crown prince, in the ability of women. This confidence has been reinforced in women and younger generations of the kingdom, giving them the impetus to take on challenges in all fields and become active members of Saudi society. The launch of Saudi women into space marks a momentous occasion for the world. The Railways Authority recently announced the graduation of 32 women to become the first-ever female drivers of the Haramain train, an unprecedented experience in the kingdom. On its Twitter account, the authority exclaimed: “32 Saudi female leaders are setting off at full speed to realize their great dream of driving one of the fastest trains in the world, thus becoming the first batch of female leaders of the Haramain Express.” The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is rapidly progressing towards its Vision 2030 goal, thanks in no small part to the energy and potential of its youth, especially the women, who make up more than half of all university graduates. Saudi women seek glory for their homeland and future generations. The future that awaits young Saudi generations is one of immense promise and potential. –Emile Amin (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.