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Middle East

Saudi king gives women right to vote

media Saudi King Abdullah Reuters/Saudi Press

Saudi women are to have the right to vote and stand in local elections, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud said Sunday. They may also take seats on the consultative Shura Council, the appointed body to which he made the announcement.

Women will not be able to stand in municipal elections for another four years because nominations have already been made for the next poll, which takes place on Thursday.

More than 60 intellectuals and activists have called for a boycott of that vote, only the second in Saudi Arabia’s history, because it excludes women.

Saudi Arabia, the homeland of the conservative Wahabbi brand of Islam, still bans women from driving and travelling without the consent of a male guardian.

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