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First women councillors elected in “Conservative Kingdom”

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A historic step for poll in which women can vote and be candidates, female winners are declared across the Saudi Arabia where women are banned from driving and face routine discrimination.

  • Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in the holy city of Mecca.
  • Rasha Hefzi, a prominent businesswoman who won a seat in Jeddah.
  • Municipal council elections indicated 17 female winners. These included four in Jeddah, one near Mecca and others in Tabuk, Ahsaa and Qatif.

First women councillors elected in “Conservative Kingdom”Highlights of election
Elections of any kind are rare in the Saudi kingdom as there were no elections in the 40 years between 1965 and 2005. This poll was only the third time in history that Saudis had gone to the polls.

  • 130,000 women had registered to vote compared with 1.35 million men.
  • Female candidates could not directly meet any male voters during their campaigns.
  • Female candidates used social media to contact voters because of restrictions on women meeting men and bans on both sexes using photographs.
  • There were 2,100 council seats available in Saturday’s vote. An additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval from the king.
  • The decision to allow women to take part was taken by the late King Abdullah and is seen as a key part of his legacy.
  • Before he died in January, he appointed 30 women to the country’s top advisory Shura Council.

Saudi Arabia Capital: Riyadh
Saudi Arabia Currency: Saudi riyal
Saudi Arabia King – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud