domenica 25 settembre 2011

Saudi women given right to contest elections and vote
Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to stand for election and vote, under a major shift in policy announced by King Abdullah on Sunday. Abdullah said women would have the right to join the advisory Shura Council as full members and to participate in future municipal elections. The announcement came after Saudi women with @Women2Drive spent many months campaigning for the right to obtain a driver’s license. Those caught driving in public places can be arrested for the so-called ‘immoral’ act of driving. But the king did not address the issue of women being allowed to drive in his speech on Sunday. There has been a massive response at #saudiwomen.
The campaign group @Women2Drive said the entry of women as a key member of the Shura Council will facilitate many other issues being by women such as earning the right to a drivers’ license. The announcement was heralded as truly historic:
King Abdullah's remarks 2day represent the biggest defining moment in Saudi women history since they were allowed the right 2live
Sep 25 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply
A partially translated version of the King’s speech read as follows:
Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulama (clerics) and others… to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from the next term…
Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote.
There was an overwhelmingly positive response from women activists:
© Storyful 2011
The impact of the policy shift will be felt immediately. Translated, this tweet from a hunam rights defender said: “King announces the nomination of women in the Shura Council Member as of the next session and a member of the municipal council for the municipal elections of the next session also”:

الملك يعلن ترشيح المرأة عضوة في مجلس الشورى اعتبارا من الدورة القادمة وعضوة في المجلس البلدي للانتخابات البلدية من الدورة القادمة أيضاً
Sep 25 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The Shura Council, also known as the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, cannot pass or enforce laws (this power is reserved for the king), but it can propose laws to the country’s absolute monarch. Its official website can be found here. At the level of regional government, royally appointed regional governors preside over municipal councils, half of whose members are appointed and half elected. Women will not participate as either candidates or voters in municipal elections scheduled for Thursday.
OshiKhaled OshiKhaled
Saudi women, remember this day! Where finally our voices can make our own decisions!#KingShora #Saudiwomen
Big day for Saudi women, any way you measure it.#KingShora
Sep 25 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply
From @Ahmed
Arab News reported that women will join Shoura Council in the next session, and they will also be allowed to contest and vote in the next municipal elections:
This is great news,” said Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi writer and women’s rights activist.
“Women’s voices will finally be heard. Now it is time to remove other barriers like not allowing women to drive cars and not being able to function, to live a normal life without male guardians.”
“I believe this is a step to involve women in the public sphere. It is the top of the pyramid and a step in the direction for more decisions regarding women,” said Naila Attar, who organized a campaign Baladi calling for women’s involvement in the municipal council elections.
From Arab News

In July, dozens of Saudi women quietly drove the streets of the kingdom, largely ignored by police despite a religious ban that could have gotten them arrested. Though it’s not illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia they cannot get drivers’ licenses and driving without one is illegal. Religious police have arrested several women over recent weeks, fueling global support for the women2drive campaign. The campaign unfolded on Twitter and Facebook as women told their stories and posted pictures and videos of themselves driving in the only country in the world that keeps women out of the driver’s seat. You can read about these campaigns here and here on Storyful.

This is possibly one of the first videos shot of a woman driving in Saudi Arabia as part of the June 17th campaign:

On June 17, a group of women in Saudi Arabia defied the authorities and risked detention by doing something most of us take for granted: driving:

Fonte: StoryFul 

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