Saudi Women Given The Right To Vote

We often criticize Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women and religious minorities under its extreme religious laws. Accordingly, we should also not hesitate to praise the country when it moves toward giving greater freedoms or embracing tolerance for minority groups. On Sunday, Saudi King Abdullah announced on Sunday he was giving women the right to vote and run in municipal elections.

I am sure this was done by the King simply to curry favor on our blog, so kudos Your Majesty.

While women still face huge barriers in the Kingdom, including the prohibition on their driving, this is a major step forward. Political rights often follow political power.

Let’s hope that that will be the case for women in the Saudi Kingdom.

Source: Guardian

20 thoughts on “Saudi Women Given The Right To Vote”

  1. Accordingly, we should also not hesitate to praise the country when it moves toward giving greater freedoms or embracing tolerance for minority groups.
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    mespo7272721, September 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Let’s see, 2011, and Saudi women finally get some measure of political autonomy. Anybody still think societies evolve at the same rate?
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    Wow, well I’m glad somebody is living in a society that is evolving and not devolving….not sure the praise of a country in such economic disparity, corruption and a political system on the edge of the great abyss qualifies as a welcome judge to progress…

  2. I’m going to have to say this is superficial gloss designed to positive PR in Western countries. This will change nothing about the status of women in that backward barbaric theocratic kingdom. Being able to run for office or vote is not a guarantee of success nor does it circumvent the other restrictions still in place on Saudi women (many of which mentioned above) that make influencing the vote or being elected still a practical impossibility.

  3. let me guess, a woman’s vote counts as 3/5ths of a regular vote and their father/husband gets to cast it.

  4. It is a step forward, but likely a reluctant one influenced in part by the general awakening in a number of Arab nations. I note that the right is limited to municipal elections, however.

  5. Mike, again we think alike. They will be obligateed to vote as they are told. Should they disobey their husbands, then what, stoning?

  6. JuDeB
    1, September 26, 2011 at 10:32 am
    Will their votes be counted?

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    In a neutrinosecond.

  7. Good idea, Mespo, but wouldn’t that be an unconstitutional violation of separation of Church and State?

  8. Let’s see, 2011, and Saudi women finally get some measure of political autonomy. Anybody still think societies evolve at the same rate? Anybody wonder why theocratic depotisms are the last to change? Anybody think there are no qualitative differences between free secular societies and oppressed religious ones? We should be on our knees to Jefferson every Sunday!

  9. Mike,

    This reminds me of what I have read about LBJ and some rather greatly engineered election results…and yes of course they had lost ballot boxes as well…

  10. AY,

    They’re women, they don’t need no “stinkin” education to vote. Their Lord and Master will tell them what to do.

  11. As Dredd pointed out, how will they get to the polls, especially since they need permission and a watchdog to leave their houses.

  12. rafflaw,

    “the KIng “granted” this right means he can take it away”
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    The king can do no wrong … 😉

  13. How are they going to get there if they can’t drive? Or if their guardian will not go with them? At least it seems to be a step in the proper direction.

  14. Wow, I checked the date to make sure it’s not April 1st. This is not a phrase I expected to ever say but “Go Saudi Arabia!” I hope this trend continues.

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