Riyadh: Women in Saudi Arabia will not need a male guardian’s approval to run or vote in municipal elections in 2015, when women will also run for office for the first time, a Saudi official has said.
The change signifies a step forward in easing the kingdom’s restrictions against women, but it falls far short of what some Saudi reformers are calling for.
There are people in the government willing to listen reasonably, but people in society are not … They will hate you just for being different, and with these people there is no common language.
Saudi female activist Wajeha Al Hawidar
Shura Council member Fahad Al Anzi was quoted in the state-run Al Watan newspaper on Wednesday saying that approval for women to run and vote came from the guardian of Islam’s holiest sites, the Saudi king, and therefore women will not need a male guardian’s approval.