Omani woman who blazed a trail into the State Council passes away

Energy Monday 06/February/2017 12:59 PM
By: Times News Service
Omani woman who blazed a trail into the State Council passes away

Muscat: Her Excellency Rahila Al Riyami, former Majlis Al Shura and State Council member, has passed away on Sunday.

Rahila bint Amur Al Riyami had made history in Oman as one of the first Omani women to be elected to the Shura Council in 2000, along with Lujaina Mohsin Darwish. They were the only ones elected among fifteen women who ran that year.

Her youngest sister, Rahma Amur Al Riyami, expressed her extreme sadness on their family loss. “She was a great sister, loving to all of her family and friends. She was incredibly kind, and a pillar to her community,” she said.

Al Riyami was the Director of Educational Planning at the Ministry of Education for sixteen years, before taking on the Shura seat in 2000 in her early 50s. Her career in the Ministry of Education spans 26 years, including her direction of the Special Education department.

Al Riyami was re-elected in 2003 for her Shura Council seat for the district of Baushar. On her re-election campaign in 2003, she remarked, “It's not just about women's issues - I represent both men and women in my community. We are responsible for a range of topics relating to economic, social, legal, environmental and health care issues.”

Starting 2007 and following the end of her Shura Council membership, Her Excellency was appointed to the State Council as a Bureau Member. She served as the Head of Human Resources Development on the State Council.

Al Riyami was a fierce proponent of women’s rights in the Sultanate. Following 2007’s Shura elections which resulted in a entirely male membership, she has argued against instituting a women’s quota regarding Majlis Al Shura membership, believing in women’s self determination and efforts to obtain high positions and represent the people.

Since 2004, Her Excellency has also served as the Chairperson of the Committee of Women and Children at the Committee for Education, Culture and Science, which is headed by the Minister of Education.

Rahila Al Riyami’s sister added, “We are so proud of her achievements over the years. We will truly miss her.”