Saudi Arabia Takes An Important Step Towards the 20th Century

The Medieval Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a relatively progressive King, apparently. He decided that women would be allowed to vote. This is a good thing, but it does remind us of how backwards a nation can be. And makes us wonder if a country like Saudi Arabia should have ever been allowed in the UN to begin with.

From the wp:

Saudi King Abdullah announced Sunday that the nation’s women will gain the right to vote and run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015 in a major advancement for the rights of women in the deeply conservative Muslim kingdom.

In an annual speech before his advisory assembly, or Shura Council, the Saudi monarch said he ordered the step after consulting with the nation’s top religious clerics, whose advice carries great weight in the kingdom.

Abdullah said the changes announced Sunday would also allow women to be appointed to the Shura Council, the advisory body selected by the king that is currently all-male.

Note that only local elections were mentioned. Women in Saudi Arabia still can’t drive, and are liable to be sentenced to death if they are raped, etc. etc. But this is an important step in the right direction.

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6 Responses to Saudi Arabia Takes An Important Step Towards the 20th Century

  1. Draken says:

    Note that only local elections were mentioned

    …because any others are nonexistent. And even the municipal elections are only held every once in a while.

  2. Greg Laden says:

    Right. Thus … a King.

    Great system, if you’re the King!

  3. Rich Stage says:

    They’re getting some freedom in stages.
    Now voting. Next driving and wages?
    But Muslim women
    are worth half of men.
    Their faith keeps them in the Dark Ages.

    More limericks

  4. bananacat says:

    Well, if the elections are actually fair and women’s right to vote is truly instated in practice and not just on the books, then this could be the key to changing those other bad things. If politicians suddenly have to start caring about what women want, then some of them might start promising to allow women to drive or the handle rape better. I’m under no illusion that democracy is a perfect panacea, especially considering how dismally rape is handled in the U.S., but it will give them the power to at least start changing things.

  5. san ban says:

    This sounds good, doesn’t it? How is it going to work with the guardianship laws?

  6. Rich Stage says:

    san ban, they’ll have to go in with a man, and vote how he says.

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