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Saudi Women Make History by Registering to Vote

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Saudi women prepare to register to vote

Saudi women prepare to register to vote

Saudi women prepare to register to vote

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History has recently been made since two women, Jamal Al-Saadi and Safinaz Abu Al-Shamat became Saudi Arabia’s first registered female voters. They registered in Madinah and Makkah respectively on August 21, a week earlier than registration opened in other cities. They will be voting in the third municipal elections, which will occur on December 12 of this year. Suffragettes have long fought for this basic human right. Al-Saadi told the Saudi Gazette, “Female participation in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us. The move will enable Saudi women to have a say in the process of decision making.”

Furthermore, this development had been put into motion by late King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud’s announcements in 2011, saying that women would be allowed to vote in the local elections in 2015 and to also run as candidates. Activists are celebrating this victory and are hopefully on the way to more milestones soon.

However, the Kingdom is still very misogynistic in nature. They discriminate against women far more than many countries because of the current male guardianship laws in place. The system prevents women from obtaining a passport, marrying, traveling, driving, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian. This may create severe barriers for women still. Because of the constriction on driving, women can’t drive to the election without having a male’s support. At the same time as the excitement, some critics are saying that this is merely a paper victory and that the bliss is only transient. “Women’s rights will remain elusive at best, as long as discrimination against them is institutionalized and severely re-enforced by the state agencies,” says Ali al-Yami, director for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.

To conclude, women still have many barriers to overcome in order to achieve their goals of equality in Saudi Arabia. The laws in place prevent them doing many things that seem arbitrary to countries in which women have more freedom. Although, by being granted the privilege to vote, women are well on their way to more victories of this nature. Even in light of all these adversities, many activists will still fight perpetually.

 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Saudi Women Make History by Registering to Vote”

  1. jimmy russel on November 5th, 2015 10:18 am

    no, no rights for u. No goats either

    [Reply]

  2. jimmy russell on August 16th, 2016 1:43 pm

    WHO CARES

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Saudi Women Make History by Registering to Vote