The King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah announced Sunday, September 25, granting women the right to vote and stand in municipal elections, only elections in the country.
"Because we refuse to marginalize women in society (...), we decided, after consulting with scholars and others, to involve women in the Shura Council as members from the next legislature, said the Saudi rulers. Women are always possible in municipal elections for which they will have the right to vote. "
The Shura Council, a consultative body whose members are appointed by the authorities, could therefore also accommodate women. "A balanced modernization in accordance with our Islamic values that defend the rights, is a significant demand in this age where there is more room for the recalcitrant," argued the Saudi ruler.
NOT THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL, DRIVING OR WORK
For the first time that the Saudi woman is granted the right to vote and stand in this ultraconservative kingdom, where only municipal elections are held. They will not until the next partial municipal elections, scheduled for 2015, to be able to attend and vote.
The second municipal elections in the country's history to be held Thursday, during which will be designated for four years half the members of municipal councils, bodies with limited powers. Saudi women can not even participate in this poll.
The defenders of human rights in that country that applies a strict interpretation of Islamic teachings have long advocated similar measures in favor of women.Saudi women still can not fly, drive, work or undergo surgery without the permission of a male member of their family.
Manal Al-Sharif, a Saudi youth activist detained 10 days in May for defending the right for women to drive cars, welcomed the decision "historic." "For the first time, women will be partners in decision making", she further said, adding: "The bottom line is that these decisions are implemented."