Rahila Al Riyami, first woman elected to Oman’s Shura Council, passes away

 06 Feb 2017 - 17:57

Rahila Al Riyami, first woman elected to Oman’s Shura Council, passes away
Rahila Al Riyami (Photo courtesy: Times of Oman)

The Peninsula Online

Muscat:  Rahila Al Riyami, Oman's former member of Majlis Al Shura and State Council, passed away on Sunday, reported Times of Oman.

Rahila bint Amur Al Riyami wass 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 the 15 who contested.

Her youngest sister, Rahma Amur Al Riyami, quoted by Times of Oman, said: “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 over 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, she 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 elected all male,  she argued against instituting a women’s quota saying she believes in women’s self determination.

Since 2004, she 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.