News

Saudi Women Vote for the First Time

Saudi Women Vote for the First Time

Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images
Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabian women are set to vote for the first time in municipal elections in a country where women are still not allowed to drive.

The elections, described as landmark and unprecedented by some, also include female candidates. More than 130,000 women have registered to vote compared to 1.35 million men.

According to Saudi-owned MBC, there are 6,916 people running in the elections, including 978 women. Women had been allowed to vote as part of a decree issued in 2011 by the late King Abdullah, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90. The late King had also appointed 30 women in an unprecedented move to the Shura Council.

However, women have faced restrictions while campaigning, including having to be represented by men while campaigning or having to speak from behind a barrier.

The elections, which are for councils that oversee planning decisions, mark just the third of their kind in Saudi Arabia’s history. Voters will fill half of the 2,100 council seats available and the other half will be appointed by the King.

“Saudi women have faced significant obstacles in their fight for their right to vote and run in the municipal council elections, but their participation on December 12 will send a strong signal to Saudi society that women are continuing the long march toward greater participation in public life,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, in a statement released on Monday.

According to the BBC, there had been no elections in the Kingdom for 40 years between 1965 and 2005.

Nuclear Plant to be Operated by Egyptians: Russian Company
It's A Boy! Family Planning and Contraception in Egypt

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Egyptian Government Opens Shelter for Women Victims of Violence in Giza

Egyptian StreetsDecember 13, 2019

Google Injects 1M USD Into Arabic Digital Skills Program, Improves Arabic Search

Aya NaderDecember 11, 2019

Egypt Approves Law to Grant Foreigners Egyptian Nationality Under Conditions of Investment

Egyptian StreetsDecember 11, 2019

Cairo University’s Anti-Violence Against Woman Unit Aiming to Create ‘Safe Environment for All’

Egyptian StreetsDecember 11, 2019

Google Maps Launches ‘Motorcycle Mode’ for Millions of Two-Wheel Drivers in Egypt

Aya NaderDecember 10, 2019

Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh Airport Leads Africa’s Top Fastest Growing Airports

Egyptian StreetsDecember 9, 2019

Real Estate Mogul Samih Sawiris Acquires Thomas Cook Germany

Egyptian StreetsDecember 7, 2019

Egyptian Woman Becomes Country’s First Flight Attendant with Down Syndrome

Egyptian StreetsDecember 5, 2019