Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s king granted women the right to vote and run for office in future municipal elections.
Although the change is welcomed by many activists, concerns still remain. The new law will not be relevant until the next election cycle in 2015. (Current municipal elections are scheduled for this Thursday.) And while senior religious scholars have endorsed the move, many are worried about the law’s enforcement–particularly when many men prohibit their female relations from participating in legal activities.
Despite the fact that women will be allowed to participate in elections, they still do not have the right to drive and are required to have male chaperones for most public activities.
Nevertheless, this is an impressive move forward for women in Saudi Arabia, with one woman noting that “It is a good sign, and we have to take advantage of it…But we still need more rights.”