Saudi women gain right to stand in elections

Women will vote, run for office in Saudi Arabia’s local elections for first time

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Saudi women have started registering to vote in municipal elections

Saudi Arabian woman who live in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, register to run for the elections in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Women have limited rights in Saudi Arabia. They have no authority to drive, and are required to get consent from a male guardian if they want to travel, work, apply for a passport or marry.

The Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud adopted the rules change in 2011, four years later the new policy will be put into effect on schedule.

It also made discussions between radical conservatives and rights groups who say that it does not go far enough in supplying women with equal rights.

Many conservative Saudis have created a hashtag in Arabic - "The danger of electing women in municipal councils" - to defy the move.

Approximately 70 women are looking to run as canditates, as well as another 80 to have start as campaign managers.

When women initiated to register as voters for the December local elections at centres run by all-female staff, separate from registration facilities for Saudi males. 

Nevertheless, continual voter registration and planned vote usher makes women excited for taking part in local governance, Saudi writer Afnan Linjawi, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

Linjawi is also a first-time voter and she did not expect this to happen so soon, she said.  

Candidate registration will run until September 17, while voter registration ends on September 14.


TRTWorld and agencies