Saudi King Names Women to Shura Council for 1st Time

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Saudi King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the previously all-male consultative Shura Council in decrees published on Friday, marking a historic first as he pushes reforms in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The decrees, published by the official SPA news agency, give women a 20 percent quota in the Shura Council, a body appointed by the king to advise him on policy and legislation.

One decree amended an article in the council's statute to give women representation on the body while the other named the 150 members, among them 30 women.

King Abdullah took the decisions following consultations with religious leaders in the kingdom, where women are subjected to many restrictions and are not allowed to mix with men, according to the decrees published by the SPA.

They stipulate that men and women will be segregated inside the council, with a special area designated for females who will enter through a separate door so as not to mix with their male colleagues.

King Abdullah had been carefully treading towards change, introducing municipal elections for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2005.

In September 2011 he granted women the right to cast ballots and run as candidates in the next local vote, set for 2015.

In announcing those changes, he also said he was planning to name women to the Shura Council.

Women's rights activists have long fought for the right to vote in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom, which applies a strict version of Sunni Islam and bans females from driving or travelling without the consent of a male guardian.

Comments 17
Thumb phoenician 11 January 2013, 14:02

13centuries late,retards.

Missing youssefhaddad 11 January 2013, 14:04

What an achievment?
It is not their fault it is the fault of the women for accepting being treated like a potential for dishonor.

Thumb kanaandian 11 January 2013, 14:37

Haha, good one.

Thumb kanaandian 11 January 2013, 14:38

Such a noble king, will He (note the capital) give me the honor to allow me to kiss his row and bow to his Holiness.

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 14:50

That's a much higher ratio of females to males than in Lebanon's Parliament!

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 15:31

FT blames women for not being enough women in a society such as Lebanon and the whole Middle East actually, affirmative action is needed (even if temporarily) in order to for young girls to have role models in such positions and in order for society as a whole to accept the idea. KSA has alot of problems but the fact that their council now has a higher ratio of women to men needs to be praised.

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 18:04

You are the one that passed amazingly at painting yourself as such, making it seem like you do not understand our society at all! You also pass amazingly at showing that you do not understand how party politics work and how our (terrible) Lebanese politics work. We have parties in Lebanon, how many of them support women nominees? And out of those that do how many nominees to they support? 1 maybe 2? Wala you want the men to run as party candidates and the women to run as independents?

Thumb kanaandian 11 January 2013, 21:18

Saudi Arabia does not have elections or a parliament. As corrupt as Lebanon is, their are elections and the failures of the system are a result of incompetent Lebanese people. Same people who have voted in the same warlords for decades, many of whom are not even capable of managing a Dairy Queen.

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 22:02

I think flamer is also forgetting about the infamous flyers being passed around about Maya Chidyac inderctly calling her a half person.

Thumb jcamerican 11 January 2013, 15:03

I heard it gets boring at these meeting. So 30 strippers will lighten up the mood. 5 guys to one woman, finally the women will get their revenge. lol

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 16:42

thats pretty funny!

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 16:46

you guys are hopeless. you complain about everything! it may be a century too late. It may be a very minimul step in the right direction but at the end of the day, it's a step in the right direction. Yes we shouldn't be satisfied with it and move on. We should help/encourage for more equality among all but at the very least we should acknowledge that IT"S A SMALL STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 17:01

I actually would enjoy sharing a beer with you. I prefer Guiness. what's your poison?

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 17:08

Phil you are invited too.

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 17:21

didn't even know those existed! I must admit, that's pretty funny.

Thumb kanaandian 11 January 2013, 21:20

Those who say 'its a step in the right direction', may I also ask if you think the Saudi female athletes in this past summer olympics was also? Did you know this was a desperate move of appeasement after threats of disqualification? Do you know women cannot take gym class at school or legally ride a bicycle? Did you know that Saudi females were not even shown on Saudi TV- or how about those Wahabi pedophiles who called Saudi female athletes the "Shameless Whores of the Olympics???" Don't be fooled by these so-called people.

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 21:44

What's your point? Who is defending any of that? hence "Yes we shouldn't be satisfied with it and move on". You respond as if I was saying all is well and we should all move there. There are very few things that Saudis do that I agree with. regardless of your opinion of why they did it (however accurate that might be), is it not a small step in the right direction? don't you think that it has to start somewhere? on a side note, what or who is in your avatar?