Saudi women gain right to vote

Sept. 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabian women will be allowed to participate in upcoming elections of the Shura Council and municipal polls, the Saudi king said Sunday.

King Abdallah extended the right to vote to women Sunday while addressing the Shora Council, the Kuwait news agency KUNA reported.

The king stressed that the decision is intended to affirm the role of women in society and to discontinue their marginalization, Arab News reported.

"Because we refuse to marginalize women in society in all roles that comply with Shariah (Islamic law), we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulema and others to involve women in the Shura Council as members in line with the Shariah regulations, starting from the next term," Abdallah said.

"Secondly women have the right to run for municipal council membership. She also has the right to vote within Shariah regulations. Brothers and sisters, it is your right that we enable to achieve everything that guarantees your honor, dignity and interest. It is our right on you to have their guidance and advice in line with the Shariah regulations."

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