Women to vote and Run in Elections
Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections. King Abdullah has announced. He said they would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura council. The move was welcomed by activist who has called for greater rights for women in the kingdom, which enforces a strict version of Sunni Islamic law. The changes will occur after municipal polls on Thursday, the king said. Municipal elections are the only public polls in Saudi Arabia. More than 5,000 men will compete in the municipal elections – the second- ever in the kingdom – to fill half the seats in local councils. The other half are appointed by the government, the next municipal elections are due in four years time. King Abdullah announced the move in a speech at the opening of the new term of the Shura Council – the formal body advising the king, whose members are all appointed.
“Because we refuse to marginalize women in society in all roles that comply with shariah, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior 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.”
King Abdullah has been cautiously pressing for political reforms. But in a country where conservative clerics and some members of the royal family resist change, liberalization has been very gradual.
Miss Rafia Research Consultant
Pakistan Rural Institutional for Socio Eco Growth and Education (PRIME).
Phone: 065 2400507
I am Miss Fozia Sahar.I Am a project director in HRO. i am working at HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION (HRO). .....read more