Saudi women win right to vote

Saudi women win right to vote

Women in Saudi Arabia have won the right to vote and stand for election for the first time.

King Abdullah made the announcement and says that the first chance of this will be in a local election campaign in 2015.

Saudi women will also be eligible to join his currently all-male advisory group, he told the Shura Council in Riyadh.

It is a huge step forward for women in the country, as their strict enforcement of Sunni Islamiclaw means that to this day, females are forbidden from driving and from leaving the country without the permission of a male guardian.

"This is great news," says Wajeha al-Huwaider to the Metro, a Saudi writer and women's rights activist.

"Women's voices will finally be heard. Now it's time to remove other barriers like not allowing women to drive cars and to live a normal life without male gaurdians."

Kind Abdullah has long been pushing for these political reforms.

He said: "Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior clerics and others... to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from next term."

The news is expected to not be welcomes by the country's most consrvative clerics.

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