Saudi Arabia: first election that allows women to vote
Saudi Arabia Elects Its First Women To Municipal Council
NPR's Rachel Martin is in Riyadh to cover the elections. She says that during her time there, she has heard a wide range of opinions.
"One woman told me that being able to vote was the equivalent of being given a cashmere sweater when she needs a place to live. She just doesn't see how this vote will affect her daily life," Rachel said. "Other women told me that being allowed to run for public office and vote for the candidate of their choice may not move the needle on big women's issues but it's a powerful symbol - and change, they say, has to start somewhere."
Saudi Women Register To Vote For The First Time Ever
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 Dec. 12, began this past Sunday.
The first two women to register were Jamal Al-Saadi in Medina and Safinaz Abu Al-Shamat in Mecca, the Saudi Gazette reported.
At least 70 women intend to run for office, and more than 80 registered as campaign managers, Arab News reported last month.
"The participation of the Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us," Saadi told the Gazette. "We are just at the beginning of the road."