Monday, September 26, 2011

Saudi Arabia gives women the right to vote

I have to say, I was taken aback when I read the front cover of the Arab News today - but in a good way.

Only a short update here; I felt it was necessary to write a post on the major breakthrough in Saudi society that has happened recently. Yesterday, King Abdullah announced that women will be given the right to vote and run in municipal elections come 2015, and this is most definitely a step in the right direction.

Many criticise Saudi Arabia for its treatment of women and their role in society, but forget that the country was only formed 79 years ago (an anniversary recently celebrated on Saudi National Day on Friday). Since then, it has undergone rapid development and modernisation to form one of the most stable economies in the world today. For countries such as the USA and UK, industrialisation has taken 200-300 years, and, for the UK, it wasn't until 1928 that all women above the age of 21 were allowed to vote.

So when you put it into this context, Saudi's progress to reach this stage in just 79 years from the country's formation seems quite remarkable. Hopefully the right to drive and a reduced need for male guardianship will follow.

Read more about this story: Independent, Arab News (Saudi newspaper)

Just to note, there won't be any posts up for a week or so. I'll be writing new content soon!

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