Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Will You Vote in the Next Elections?

I hope you do. Saudi women will not be voting any time soon, certainly not in the forthcoming municipal elections next year:

In response to a question about women's getting the vote, Prince Nayef bin Sultan said simply: "I don't think that women's participation is possible."
An election law published in August did not explicitly ban women from voting.
This led many campaigners for women's rights to hope for a substantial breakthrough for Saudi women.
The Associated Press quotes an unnamed Saudi election official as saying that the main reasons for barring women from the election were administrative.
The official told AP that there were not enough women electoral staff to run women-only voter registration centres, while only a fraction of women in Saudi Arabia had photo identity cards.

One could argue that having at least the men vote is a baby step forwards in democracy, but it's still rather disappointing to find that women in Saudi Arabia will not be allowed to vote. Especially as the Saudis are our special friends and all that.
Link via Kos.