September 26th, 2011
11:54 AM ET

Questions follow Saudi king's promise on women's rights

A day after Saudi King Abdullah announced greater political participation for women in the future, some Saudis questioned just how big a change may really be on the horizon.

Some women's rights activists who were initially elated by Sunday's announcement said they were feeling disappointed because the changes do not kick in immediately. "We don't really think now that we've been promised a real right," said one.

But a member of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council called one of the changes the king announced "hugely important."

King Abdullah announced two changes Sunday, which would be historic for Saudi Arabia. He said women will be allowed to serve as members of the Shura Council, the Consultative Council that advises the king. Its 150 members are appointed.

The king also said women will be allowed to run as candidates and nominate candidates in the next set of municipal elections. It is unknown when those may ultimately take place.

The changes do not apply to elections scheduled for this Thursday - which will be only the second set of elections in the kingdom since 1963.

While the king did not use the word "vote" in his remarks, allowing women to take part in the nomination process would amount to voting within Saudi Arabia's system.


Filed under: Saudi Arabia • World
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. shamoli55

    Corporate Video and Film was launched in 1979 with one goal in mind, to provide Southern California with exceptional high quality video production to help companies creatively tell their story through the power of video.

    September 28, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Altee11

    So do non-Muslims also have the right to vote and practice in Saudi Arabia?

    September 28, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    • queenv1902

      All Saudi natives are Sunni muslims. Non Saudi nationals cant vote. Even if you're born there you dont get Saudi citizenship if your father isnt Saudi.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
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