Saudi female candidates running for municipal councils have begun campaigning in elections, marking the first time women are allowed to vote and contest polls in the kingdom.
Around 865 women are among 6,140 Saudis standing in the local elections, due to be held on December 12th.
Women’s participation in the polls, was decreed in 2011 by the-then King Abdullah, who also ordered that 20 per cent of members of the kingdom’s quasi-parliament, the Shura Council, be females.
However, according to an electoral official, women standing for municipal councils are prohibited from holding rallies attended by men.
“The female candidate can only communicate with the electorate via a TV circuit. A spokesman for her can communicate with men on her behalf.” spokesman for the official election commission Jadeeh al-Qahtani said in a tweet.
Both male and female contenders are also barred from displaying their pictures in public during the 12-day campaign, which means that contestants, and especially the women, will need to rely on social media to reach potential voters.
Despite the growing female representation on government bodies, activists complain that women are still required to have a male guardian to transact official business, and women are also banned from driving in Saudi Arabia.
- Pray for Saudi Arabia as it approaches the local body elections. Pray for free and fair elections and for fair campaigning for both me and women.
- Give thanks that women are allowed, for the first time, to be candidates for the elections seats. Pray for women in Saudi Arabia, as they continue to fight for even the most basic rights such as driving a car.
- Pray for Christians in Saudi Arabia, as it continues to be one of the worlds most repressive and regimes against Christians.
- Pray for many God to reveal himself to many Saudi Muslims, through dreams and also through Christian programming on the internet.
Galatians 3 vs 28: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”