November 19, 2008
When will we have the first Saudi woman minister?
Manama: Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa became Bahrain's new information minister.
Shaikha Mai, the former assistant undersecretary for culture and heritage, is the second woman in the government, and the third woman to ever hold a ministerial portfolio.
Dr Nada Haffadh became the first woman minister in 2004 when she was handed the health portfolio. However, she left in 2007 after a bitter standoff with a parliamentary committee investigating alleged irregularities in her ministry.
Following the splitting of the labour and social affairs ministry, Dr Fatima Al Belooshi was appointed minister of social development.
Shaikha Mai is popular among intellectuals and writers for her efforts to promote culture in Bahrain and for promoting respect for Gulf traditions abroad.