WATCH: First Time Saudi Women Allowed to Vote

Sat Dec 12, 2015 18:01:56

Saudi women have voted in municipal elections this Saturday morning for the first time, marking a big victory for them to cast ballots in the conservative nation.

Women in the conservative kingdom such Saudi Arabia are being allowed both to run for office and to vote this year, although critics have said restrictions on both activities have made it hard on would-be women candidates and voters.

Among other things, women have complained of difficulties proving identity and residency and a limited number of registration centers, according to Human Rights Watch.

Female candidates also were barred from speaking to male voters and required to segregate campaign offices, the organization said.

In the end, 979 women candidates and 130,637 women voters registered to participate in the election, according to Saudi election officials. A total of 5,938 men are running for the local offices, which mostly oversee planning and development issues.

Voters will fill half of the seats. The King selects the other half, according to the US State Department. CNN reported.


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