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Mariam Al-Aqeel: Gulf’s First Ever Female Finance Minister

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Kuwait has appointed Mariam Al-Aqueel as a finance minister for its new cabinet. She is the first female finance minister in the Gulf region. As finance minister, Mariam Al-Aqeel also automatically heads the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority.

Who Is Mariam Al-Aqueel?

Prime Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah announced the new cabinet on Tuesday and Mariam Al-Aqueel is one of three women in the Kuwait administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kuwait University. In December of last year, Kuwait appointed Mariam-Al-Aqueel as the Minister of State for Economic Affairs. As of 6th November 2019, she stepped into the role of Acting Minister of Finance.

In the past, Mariam Al-Aqueel has served as an Auditor at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training She has also served as an Accountant at the Ministry of Higher Education, Kuwait University.

Mariam-Al-Aqueel has become the first-ever woman to hold the position of finance minister in the history of Kuwait as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council. She is also the first female minister in Kuwait as well as the Arab world at large to concurrently hold both portfolios as Minister of Finance and State Minister of Economic Affairs. In addition, she will be heading the country’s two major public financial institutions. These include the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the country’s sovereign fund, and the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS). Mariam-Al-Aqueel is now the first woman to be heading these institutions. Among a myriad of high-level portfolios, Al-Aqueel manages Kuwait’s National Development Plan (KNDP), the Environment and the Organizing of Kuwait’s labour market of the public and private sectors. She is also Chair of the Higher Committee of the Kuwait Distinguished Woman Award (KDWA).

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In the past, Mariam Al-Aqueel has served as an Auditor at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training She has also served as an Accountant at the Ministry of Higher Education, Kuwait University.

Kuwait Cabinet 2019

Mariam Al-Aqueel has effectively been in the post since November 6, having stepped in as acting finance minister but has now been confirmed to stay on in the new government.

The other three women in the new Kuwait cabinet include Khaled Al-Roudhan and Khaled Al-Fadhel. Al-Roudhan retained her portfolio of commerce while Al-Fadhel kept hers of oil.

However, the new cabinet will most likely serve for less than a year. This is because Kuwait is to hold parliamentary elections in 2020. The country has witnessed tumultuous relations between the elected legislature and the government appointed by the country’s hereditary emir. The previous government resigned a month after politicians sought a no-confidence vote amid a dispute between senior officials. Caretaker Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah was to form the new Cabinet. However, he turned down the offer. In November, hundreds of citizens protested outside the Parliament against the government.

Mariam Al-Aqueel has effectively been in the post since November 6, having stepped in as acting finance minister but has now been confirmed to stay on in the new government.

Picture Credit: Bloomberg

Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV

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