The Middle East

Saudi Arabia elects its first female politicians!

“At least 18 women have won seats in Saudi Arabia’s municipal polls, the country’s first-ever elections open to female voters and candidates.”- Al Jazeera

I am thrilled to see that Saudi Arabia has elected its first round of female council members to various municipal courts in Saudi Arabia. What makes this even more interesting is that there was only a twenty-five percent voter turn out for the first round of elections in which women were both eligible to vote and run as candidates. The BBC reports that in this election 978 women ran  against 5,938 men for the 284 council seats, with only 130,000 women registering to vote in this election against the 1.35 million men who are registered to vote in Saudi Arabia.

The only aspect about this election that I find unfortunate is that it was only 18 seats of the 284 available. However, for the first election allowing women to run for office and to vote in what is general considered the most conservative Muslim country, I can only hope this small victory will eventually lead to greater victories for Saudi women in the future…

Now if we could only convince the Saudi Government to allow women to drive without being fined or to allow women to attend school or travel without the consent of a male guardian… but more on that at a later date!


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