Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Tuesday swore in the country’s first female members of the Shura Council.
Shura Council is an appointed body that advises on new laws. One fifth of the new Shura Council are women.
King Abdullah gave a short speech as he swore in the new council members, Reuters reported.
Major speeches in recent months have been made on Abdullah’s behalf by his heir, Crown Prince Salman. State media have also listed Salman as chairing the weekly cabinet sessions in place of the king.
“Your place in the Shura Council is not as those who have been honoured, but as those who have been charged with a duty, as you represent part of society,” he said, addressing the new women members.
Saudi Arabia’s government is entirely appointed by the king, who is also prime minister.
A number of clerics protested outside the royal court in January against the decision.
They complained that the move and other reforms aimed at making it easier for women to work were against sharia law.