A Step In The Right Direction: Hundreds Of Saudi Women Run For Office

After receiving permission to participate in local elections for the first time in history, here’s how many women have registered to run for office.

Saudi Arabia

Over 900 women have started campaigning to run for public office, with elections to be held on Dec. 12, according to CNN.

The report comes just three months after Saudi Arabia allowed women to vote for the first time in the country’s history.

"This is one of the first steps for women's rights, a big step for us," said Sahar Hassan Nasief, an activist in the city of Jeddah.

Saudi election officials opened voting registration to women in August. The forthcoming polls will fill half the seats in the municipal councils. King Salman, who took the throne in January after King Abdullah’s death, will appoint the rest.

“We will vote for the women even though we don’t know anything about them,” Um Fawaz, a teacher in her 20s, was quoted as saying by The Guardian. “It’s enough that they are women.”

Although critics do not believe the elections will bring about a significant change in the country’s political affairs, since women will only participate at the municipal level, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

A change leading towards betterment, no matter how big or small, is a sign of progress as far as the state of women’s rights in the Gulf kingdom are concerned.

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