With a PhD in biotechnology from Britain's Cambridge University and a recurring presence on many of the world's most influential females lists, medical scientist Hayat Sindi is no stranger to breaking away from the typical Saudi female mould. In February, Sindi broke down yet another of Saudi Arabia's gender barriers when she became one of the first women to be sworn into the Shura Council in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah first announced that women would join the unelected 150-member body, which functions like a parliament but without formal powers, in 2011. But women were only formally appointed in January this year after the king formally decreed that women should always hold at least 20 percent of the seats.
(We invite our users to read the complete article published April 15 2013)