Win for Women in Saudi

Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in municipal elections, the Gulf Kingdom’s King Abdullah has announced.

He said they would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council.

The news will be welcomed by activists who have long called for greater rights for women in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The changes will take effect from next year, the king said.

King Abdullah announced the move in a speech at the opening of the new term of the Shura Council.

“Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama [clerics] and others… to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from next term,” he said.

“Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.”

The BBC’s world affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan says it is an extraordinary development for women in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to drive or leave the country unaccompanied.

You can read more here.

5 thoughts on “Win for Women in Saudi

  1. More like, “here’s this bone to make sure you don’t riot.” I hope they use their newly legitimize power to wreak havoc.

  2. Or, here’s a bone to foreign powers that’s just enough to appease them so they will continue to leave us alone. I am skeptical of any change of heart or altruism.

  3. They will not be allowed to vote in this election. And no doubt when they do, they will have to find a man to drive them to the polling place.

  4. Municipal elections will be this Thursday. They will not be able to vote until afterwards, presumably at the next elections in 2015. We shall see……

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