Saudi women given right to vote, run for office. Is driving next?
Saudi King Abdullah on Sunday granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections, in a historic first for the ultra-conservative country where women are subjected to many restrictions.
“Starting with the next term, women will have the right to run in municipal elections and to choose candidates, according to Islamic principles,” he said in speech to the Shura Council carried live on state television.
“Muslim women in our Islamic history have demonstrated positions that expressed correct opinions and advice,” he told advisors.
Women’s rights activists have long fought to gain the right to vote in the Gulf kingdom, which applies a strict version of Sunni Islam and bans women from driving or travelling without the consent of a male guardian. (Fahad Shadeed/Reuters)