Saudi Arabian King Abdullah has granted women the right to vote and run for office in forthcoming local elections, the Guardian reported today. The changes will occur after this week’s election, in which women are barred from voting or standing for office. “We have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama [clerics] and others … to involve women in the Shura council as members, starting from the next term,” Abdullah announced. “Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.” Saudi Arabian activists hailed the changes as “great news” and vowed to continue fighting for the rights of Saudi women, who cannot travel or have certain medical operations without male consent and are prohibited from driving.
Saudi Arabia Gives Women Right To Vote, Run In Local Elections