Saudi Arabian Women Finally Have the Right to Vote and to Be Elected to Office

by Sangeeta Haindl

SOURCE: Justmeans


At least 17 women were elected to public office in Saudi Arabia on 12 December 2015, making these elections truly historic, because it marked the first time women in the country were allowed to vote and to run for office. The female winners for the municipal council includes Salma al-Oteibi in the Mecca region, Lama al-Suleiman and Rasha Hufaithi in Jeddah, Hanouf al-Hazimi in Al Jouf province, and Sanaa al-Hammam and Masoumah Abdelreda in the Ahsa region.

Despite the new rights extended to women, critics have said restrictions made it hard on women who wanted to run for office and vote. Women complained of difficulties proving identity and residency, and there were a limited number of registration centers, according to Human Rights Watch.

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Photo CreditTribes of The World on Flickr

Sangeeta Haindl writes on women and children; social innovation; social enterprise and social entrepreneurs. She is the founder of Serendipity PR, in London, U.K., where she works with high-profile brands and organizations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She is chairman of and director of London's leading conscious well-being organisation, Alternatives, which hosts leading speakers such as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch and many other well-known names. She describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur, Conscious Explorer; enjoying helping others, paying it forward and being a mum.

Tweet me: The role of #women in Saudi Arabia has slowly been evolving @SangeetaHaindl shares the progress via @Justmeans

KEYWORDS: Education, Saudi Arabia, women, elections, King Abdullah, Rasha Hefzi, Voting, Human Rights Watch, Justmeans