In a despotic and radically religious country where women can’t even drive or travel out of the city without the permission of their male guardians, their running for political office is a big deal.
The late King Abdullah promised women would be able to not only vote but take part in the elections as candidates as well. He also appointed women to the consultative council.
The election is for 284 municipal councils across Saudi Arabia and more than 900 women have registered as candidates. Yet strict limits remain. There still can’t be any interaction with the opposite gender or any photos used for campaigning. A number of human rights activists, in favor of women driving in the kingdom have been disqualified.
But there are the lucky ones too. Time will soon show how their pioneering attempt goes. One thing is for sure, regardless of the results, there can hardly be any turning back from here-the first tentative step has been taken towards an era of change.