Saudi Arabia

Saudi women are voting and running for office for the first time

Question: Which country recently granted women the right to vote for the first time?

(a) Oman
(b) Iran
(c) Turkey
(d) Saudi Arabia

Ans (d)

Related facts:

  • In a progressive move, the King of Saudi Arabia Salman allowed women to vote and contest in municipal elections scheduled to be held in December 2015
  • This is the first time in Saudi Arabia, women granted the right to participate in elections.
  • Before 2011 Municipal elections Saudi women had sought the right to participate in the election campaign.
  • Shortly before the 2011 elections, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz announced that in the municipality elections of 2015 women will be granted the right to vote and the right to participate as candidates.
  • The present Saudi king Salman in view of the announcement made by his brother and former King Abdul Aziz in 2011 gave women the right to participate in the municipal elections of 2015.
  • Voter registration for elections began on August 22, 2015 and candidate registration on August 30, 2015 for the election which is held in December 2015.
  • 70 women had registered for contesting the municipal elections going to be held in December 2015.
  • In the Municipal elections of 2015, two-thirds of the seats in the municipal council will be filled by vote and the remaining one-third seats will be filled through the appointed by Saudi King.
  • Presently, women have only the right to participate in municipal elections.
  • Presently, women make up one fourth of the country’s Shura Council which is an unelected body appointed by the king to propose laws for government but cannot pass them.


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