Landmark move for women in Saudi politics

2011-12-28 20:00

Riyadh - A Saudi official says for the first time, women in the conservative kingdom will not need a male guardian's approval to run or vote in municipal elections in 2015.

Shura Council member Fahad al-Anzi says that approval for women has already come from the Saudi king. The country's Shura Council is an all-male consultative body with no legislative powers.

The state-run al-Watan newspaper announced the change Wednesday. Even so, women in Saudi Arabia cannot travel, work, study abroad, marry, get divorced or gain admittance to a public hospital without permission from a male guardian.

While King Abdullah has pushed for some changes on women's rights, he has been cautious not to push too hard against ultraconservative clerics, who have in the past challenged social reforms.

  • Mike - 2011-12-29 00:43

    Whilst every step in the right direction should be applauded, this ruling will have no impact whatsoever since women in Saudi have no freedom of movement so they will still be at the mercy of their male relatives. This is just another pointless ruling by the king in order to keep up appearances to the Saudi people so they are less inclined to revolt.

  • emile.eley - 2011-12-29 08:47

    What about the rights of religious minorities? Any comments Riaad and co?

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