Saudi Women Register to Vote: But Will There Be Progression Civilly?

Women's iLab

Photo from pbs.org Photo from pbs.org

As of 2015, Saudi women have finally won the right to vote and run in municipal elections. Voter registration began this August and goes through mid-September.

This has been in the works since 2011 when the now-late King Abdullah announced that he was granting women the right to vote and run as candidates. Municipal councils are the only elected bodies in the entire kingdom. Two-thirds of the seats in the elected council are based upon votes, with the rest of the council seats granted by appointment.

While this is great news, will it actually lead to any progression for women civilly? In a country with little to no gender equality, we may wonder what affect these political advancements will have in these women’s day-to-day lives.

In Saudi Arabia, women have “male guardians,” that may be compared to the relationship between a parent and their child. Women must…

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