Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Saudi Woman and the Leap of Municipal Elections - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabia is changing every single day

Saudi Arabia is changing every single day

Several factors have contributed to the removal of the shadow over Saudi women in both civil and legislative arenas.
The struggles revolved around the active role played by females in the Saudi community, which raised hopes of contributing to female achievement in directing those struggles towards great national development which the country still awaits.

The Saudi female figure has turned the Municipal elections into a worldwide event, covered by global media of all types and orientations, her participation stood out in the entire election process, especially near the end when several women were selected as winning candidates.

Women hope in their new sought out place in the legislative world, to accomplish their ambitions after proving presence in the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia and carrying out several cases into discussion, some that were approved and others not. Nevertheless it was considered a great movement in the journey of Saudi women.

Saudi Arabia is a country changing every single day, and this change is accompanied with interest in sectors such as education, work, and training in which now witnesses female contribution.

Saudi women, after the Consultative Council, are considered to be on a very special journey which began over two years ago.

Elector Ashwaq al-Jaeid told Asharq Al-Awsat that she is aware of the ineffectiveness of the municipal councils in the previous two rounds, yet the reason behind participating with the voters is to contribute in the most important event as she, along with all the participants, is employing her right to vote in order to witness the success of at least one woman from her city’s council. She expressed her gratitude of the results, assuring Asharq Al-Awsat that the electoral campaign that was broadcast live on Twitter let her voice reach whoever she believes deserves winning.

In addition, Saudi academic Dr Maysaa al- Hakami saw that a woman entering the Consultative Council (Al Shoura Council) contributed to changing pessimistic attitudes toward women’s abilities, proving they can carry the burden of holding public office. She added, in a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, that the change and the men’s participation in supporting women in these elections, provides another indicator that women’s participation was being accepted.

Saudi female presence in the Consultative Council now represents over 20 percent of council members, a historical feat after thirty female figures were appointed and given full membership into the council.

The New Year holds new expected changes that the country will be witnessing, especially after comprehensive workshops held in the capital city Riyadh, in an effort to achieve advanced development, in which the Saudi women had not missed out on participating, discussing, or appearing in over the planning processes.