Saudi Arabia elects up to 17 female councillors in historic election

Saudi Arabia has elected its first female local councillors in a historic step for a country where women are banned from driving and face routine discrimination.

Results from Saturday’s municipal council elections indicated there were about 17 female winners. These included four in Jeddah, one near Mecca – home to Islam’s holiest site – and others in Tabuk, Ahsaa and Qatif. Several more, reported by al-Sabq online newspaper, were expected to be confirmed later.

Rasha Hefzi, a prominent businesswoman who won a seat in Jeddah, thanked all those who supported her campaign and trusted her, pledging: “What we have started, we will continue.” Hefzi and other candidates used social media to contact voters because of restrictions on women meeting men and bans on both sexes using photographs. [353 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] Actually, I have a question about the council meetings. Are they allowed to attend without male relatives? And how do they discuss things if they are not allowed to see or talk to people of the opposite sex? Genuinly interested.

[ANOTHER] The article states “…the country’s Grand Mufti, its most senior religious figure, described women’s involvement in politics as “opening the door to evil”.

The Grand Mufti should be barred from entering Western countries for this hate speech.

In fact, he should be barred from entering any other country for this mysogyny. [The Guardian] Read more

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