Saudi women start their journey to public office

Saudi women start their journey to public office

Campaigning for the municipal elections

Editor: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Getty Images

It may have taken a decade but Saudi women are now part of the election process and the campaign to claim a public voice has begun...

More than 900 Saudi women are hoping to stake a claim in the public office, when the elections take place on December 12, 2015 — marking the first time women are allowed to vote in the Kingdom. Now, in the lead up to the municipal elections, the candidates have begun making their campaign rounds.

The first municipal election, which were conducted in 2005 and 2011 respectively, both withheld women from voting with the process only applicable to men, be it as a candidate or voter. It was the late King Abdullah who decreed that women would be allowed to participate in this year's elections, a move that followed his 2013 decision to allow women to be appointed within the Shura Council, which advises the cabinet.

According to the Saudi electoral commission, 131,000 women have signed up to vote.