International Women's Day - An interview with Maha Aldoughaim


Maha Aldoughaim
Student, College of Pharmacy

Tell me about yourself and your role here at MUSC.
I am a licensed pharmacist in Saudi Arabia. Pharmacy has always been an attractive option to me. I remember being in middle school and we began studying chemistry and biology and I found it all to be extremely interesting. When the time came, I decided that Pharmacy was my passion and what I wanted to study. After graduating from Pharmacy school in Saudi Arabia, I became employed as a teaching assistant at the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. A year later, I received a scholarship to travel abroad to further my education in Pharmacy. I chose to study at the College of Pharmacy at MUSC. This opportunity will allow me to further advance my career to become a professor in Saudi Arabia. 
Can you talk about one woman who has impacted your life?
A woman who has always influenced me throughout my life is my mother. My mother wasn’t as lucky as I am to have the things that I enjoy in my life when she was my age. She worked very hard to be able to make her dreams become a reality. She recently finished college and received a degree in Sociology. Before that she worked in several foundations for children with Down syndrome and cancer. She is very resilient and has been able to withstand the toughest of times. She is a woman of many talents and I try to be like her in everything I do. 
You received your driver’s license while living in Saudi Arabia. As a woman, how did that moment feel being part of such a major social change? 
It was a sentimental moment for me when I received my license. The ban was lifted for women to be able to receive their driver’s license in June of 2018. I believe the social change for women to now be able to drive and also having the option to receive their drivers license has allowed them to be more independent. It will change the whole social and family dynamics for the country. To see my friends take trips across the country and take charge of their own transportation, it’s all really amazing. For me, I see it as a social reformation for women in my country. It feels very wonderful to witness and to be a part of such a positive change for women. 
What main change would you like to see for girls in the next generation? 
I would like to see all girls grow up in a violence free environment. I would like to see all girls have access to education, healthcare and be self-sufficient. It makes me happy when I witness young women being strong and self- sufficient because I know we have made progress for the next generation and for generations to come. 
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign focuses on building a more “gender-balanced world”. What does gender balance mean to you? 
I believe gender balance means having the same opportunities for women and men. I would like to see a world where there is equality in pay, education, chances in reaching leadership positions and access to healthcare for everyone. 
Tell me something interesting about yourself. 
I read a lot of books. I mostly read books about the history of Saudi Arabia. I really enjoying learning about where I am from.