Melania Trump hails 'empowerment of women' at Saudi company

RIYADH, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. First Lady Melania Trump praised the "empowerment of women" at a General Electric all-female service center in the Saudi capital on Sunday, saying the women should work together and educate their children well.

She is accompanying U.S. President Donald Trump on his first international visit since taking office in January, and told 200 female employees she tried to find balance between her role of First Lady and mother.

"It is about finding the balance," she told the women, who took pictures of her with their smartphones. Later on Twitter, she wrote "Enjoyed talking to the incredible women working hard @GE_Saudi service center. Great strides being made towards the empowerment of women."

Donning a tan knee-length dress, Melania shared a photo of herself with seven women dressed in abayas, the loose-fitting, full-length robes local women are required to wear in public in Saudi Arabia.

RELATED: Melania and Ivanka Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia

16 PHOTOS
Melania and Ivanka Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia
See Gallery
Melania and Ivanka Trump arrive in Saudi Arabia
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they arrive in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. first lady Melania Trump (from L-R, seated) holds the attention of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman at a Saudi welcome ceremony for U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump (C-L) and Jared Kushner (C-R) arrive to attend the presentation of the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they arrive in Riyadh during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (C, in brown and white) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump (top, 3-R) with a military honor cordon after they arrived aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (C) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump (R) to a tea ceremony in the Royal Terminal after they arrived aboard Air Force One at King Khalid Airport International in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and his wife Ivanka Trump walk on the tarmac after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R), U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump (C) are greeted with flowers by children in an arrival ceremony at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump (C-L) and Jared Kushner (C-R) arrive to attend the presentation of the Order of Abdulaziz al-Saud medal at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (lower left, back to camera) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they arrive aboard Air Force One at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and his wife Ivanka Trump walk on the tarmac after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets with U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2-L) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and first lady Melania Trump as they arrive aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump step off Air Force One upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump (L) and Jared Kushner (C) walk across the tarmac after arriving in Riyadh with US President Donald Trump (unseen) at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

She earlier visited the American International School of Riyadh and gave out books. The school, unlike most others in the conservative kingdom, has both male and female students of different nationalities.

Saudi Arabia is well known as the world's most gender-segregated nation, where women live under the supervision of a male guardian and need his permission to travel, study and get some health treatments.

Since the late King Abdullah declared in 2011 that women could join the government advisory Shura Council, the situation for women has gradually started to change in line with moves to diversify the economy, employ more women and cut reliance on oil.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.