Rabat -Saudi Arabia’s municipal elections began on Saturday morning with international voices hailing the country's unprecedented voting, in which women can run for elections and cast a ballot for the first time in the history of the Kingdom.
Rabat -Saudi Arabia’s municipal elections began on Saturday morning with international voices hailing the country’s unprecedented voting, in which women can run for elections and cast a ballot for the first time in the history of the Kingdom.
According to AFP, male voters began to enter a polling center in downtown Riyadh at about 8:00 a.m. (05:00 GMT)
The same source added that men and women are required to vote separately in different centers.
A total of 978 women will stand alongside 5,938 men in the 2,100 seats available in local municipal councils on Saturday.
The new reform – allowing women to cast ballots and run for office – is not welcomed by many Saudi men, who believe that “the role of a woman is at her home, administrating her house and raising her children.”
But for Saudi women, the new reform is “a historical achievement.”
“To tell you the truth, I’m not running to win,” Amal Badreldin al-Sawari, 60, a Pediatrician in central Riyadh, who runs for local municipal council, said.
“I think I have won by running,” she added.
As candidates, saudi women are facing several difficulties because of the country’s strict laws, which forbid female candidates to address male candidates.
Women candidates must speak from behind a screen while in public, according to Saudi laws.
Despite being granted the right to stand for elections, Saudi women are still banned from driving cars.