For the first time, Saudi women get to vote

WEB DESK: For the first time in history Saudi women can begin to register for voting.

According to local media, women will be able to vote and run in elections held in December of this year, marking a step forward for proponents of women’s rights in a country that has been criticized for its treatment of women.

According to Saudi government, official voter’s registration will begin at 22 August whereas candidate registration will begin on 30 August.

These registrations will mark a new history for Saudi Arabia for women to participate in elections at municipal level. According to CNN, Critics have described the change as anywhere from modest to inconsequential.

“While it’s a sign of progress, allowing women to stand and vote in elections — and then only municipal elections — is not enough to secure women’s full integration into Saudi public life,” wrote Adam Coogle for Human Rights Watch.

Despite the December elections, the country remains a monarchy ruled by the Saud family. According to the State Department, municipal elections in Saudi Arabia filled half the seats in municipal councils, with King Abdullah selects the other half of municipal officials.

The late King Abdullah announced in 2011 that women would be allowed to run for office and vote in municipal elections, which take place every four years. Registration for the upcoming election, to be held December 12, began this past Sunday.

About 70 women are running for office and 80 as campaign managers.

Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive or travel without a male relative.

Source: Huffington Post