Tag Archives: Saudi

Saudi women still face inequality after historic elections

Agen Sabung Ayam

Posted December 14, 2015 seventeen:31:forty four

Saudi candidate Amal Badreldin al-Sawari stands outside a polling station Photograph: Saudi candidate Amal Badreldin al-Sawari stands outside the house a women’s polling station after casting her ballot in the money Riyadh. (AFP: Fayez Nureldine)

Human legal rights observers say the inclusion of ladies in Saudi Arabia’s municipal elections is a landmark achievement, even if it is mainly symbolic.

Nonetheless, they say significantly far more wants to be carried out to reduce gender inequality in the conservative Islamic kingdom.

Saudi Arabians have voted seventeen females into community place of work in municipal elections.

It is the country’s very first election the place females could vote and operate as candidates, although councillors have only limited powers and no legislation-producing part.

Human Rights Observe (HRW) said women’s inclusion in the elections was a positive stage towards greater political participation, but that Saudi Arabia ongoing “to discriminate in opposition to ladies by way of myriad rules, insurance policies, and methods”.

“The govt must correct the problems that are making it tough for women to take part and construct on this development to develop momentum for even more women’s legal rights reforms,” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Center East director, stated.

Significantly less than 10 per cent of registered voters ended up female

Women made up much less than ten per cent of the voting pool, with a hundred thirty,637 girls voters registered, in comparison with 1.three million males.

Neighborhood activists advised Human Legal rights Look at that women confronted a number of limitations in registering to vote.

Election officials established up single-intercourse voter registration centres, but only one-3rd had been for girls, and many have been hard to achieve or difficult to uncover.

Saudi women also confronted problems proving id and residency, HRW mentioned.

Although registration laws used equally to males and ladies, ladies confronted increased difficulties in obtaining the required files.

A Saudi woman gets into a taxi at a mall in Riyadh Photo: Saudi females are not authorized to travel and confronted problems achieving polling booths. (AFP: Fayez Nureldine file photograph)

Though authorities now permit ladies to get their personal ID playing cards, a lot of girls nevertheless do not have them.

Girls also identified it tough to provide evidence of residence, since ladies do not generally personal house or spend the utility expenses. Instead, a male guardian often holds the residence in his identify and pays the charges.

In such circumstances, females had to show their partnership with the residence owner, this sort of as by way of a family members ID, but the male guardian typically holds that. This intended males could block a woman’s want to stand for election.

Saudi Arabia also bans girls from driving, generating it difficult for girls candidates to vacation to polling booths or campaign before the election with out a male chaperone.

There had been bans as well on male or female candidates campaigning to an individual of the reverse sex, indicating women candidates could only right approach women.

Incremental development optimistic, but region has extended way to go

However, there has been development for ladies in Saudi Arabia and several women are optimistic they will eventually be given far more rights and empowerment.

“Saudi Arabia have to get fast steps to stop all discrimination in opposition to females in the kingdom,” Philip Luther, Amnesty Intercontinental deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa explained, when ladies had been first granted the correct to vote.

“Although relocating in the right direction, Saudi Arabia is shifting far way too slowly and gradually. Ultimately, it is no great accomplishment to be a single of the final countries in the entire world to grant females the vote.

“The complete method of women’s subordination to men in Saudi Arabia needs to be dismantled.”

Saudi officials handle the ballot box. Picture: Saudi election officials seal the ballot box following girls vote in municipal elections for the 1st time. (AFP: STR)

Saudi women face discrimination in nearly every aspect of life. Most girls are not able to vacation, depart the nation, open up a bank account or marry with no authorization from a male relative. They have much less rights when they divorce.

Females have to also adhere to a rigorous dress code — wearing the complete-duration abaya and head scarf when they leave the house.

Even practicing activity or going to a gymnasium was mostly banned until finally a few several years in the past, the same year Saudi Arabia despatched the very first two women athletes to the Olympic Online games.

Regardless of the obstructions to women’s entire equality, many women welcomed the appropriate to vote in the elections.

One girl explained just viewing girls set forward their concepts in the course of the campaign process was a “positive point”.

Another informed HRW: “I said I need to give up, but I am not providing up. I am going to get registered and I did … I said this is our right. It is the 1st time they allow us do something [like this] and we are not allowing go.

“It is a door open up, ajar, and we just have to thrust it wide open.”

Exterior Hyperlink: Saudi females share photos of voting on social media

Subject areas: women, government-and-politics, planet-politics, females-religious, faith-and-beliefs, islam, saudi-arabia


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First Saudi Woman Elected

Agen Sabung Ayam

RIYADH—A girl gained a seat on a Saudi Arabian municipal council for the very first time, the govt stated Sunday, following the initial nationwide election open to feminine voters and candidates.

Salema bint Hizab al-Otaibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a small village in the Mecca area, the formal Saudi press agency documented. The announcement was made by Osama al-Bar, president of the regional election fee.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy and regional councils are the only popularly elected bodies that exist. The councils have limited powers. They can approve budgets and oversee city growth assignments, but have no last say on how public income is put in. Nevertheless, the inclusion of ladies in the election method represents a tiny action towards higher popular participation in regional governance.

“Every action towards obtaining more girls taking part in culture by means of financial ways, political ways or social pathways is critical,” said Lama al-Suleiman, a businesswoman and candidate in the coastal city of Jeddah. “The much more ladies are there, the much more you know that there is a complete illustration of the folks of Saudi Arabia.”

Out of the 6,900 candidates who competed for 2,one hundred elected seats in Saudi Arabia’s regional councils on Saturday, 979 had been ladies.

Only a hundred thirty,000 ladies registered to vote, in contrast with 1.36 million guys. Many women blamed the cumbersome registration procedure for the reduced numbers. Many other people said they merely didn’t care.

But in an ultraconservative place exactly where females are deprived of a lot of simple rights—such as the ability to travel or to journey overseas with out the permission of a male relative—many woman voters see their inclusion in the election method as a turning level.

“I have goosebumps,” stated Ghada Ghazzawi, a businesswoman, as she entered a polling station in Jeddah on Saturday. “We have been waiting around for this day for a long time.”

Amid the women trickling steadily into a girls’-faculty-turned-polling station in Jeddah on Saturday was seventy three-yr-aged Ehsan Shallan, a widow and previous staff of the country’s ministry of education.

“It is one thing that I deeply wanted—being able to give women a voice,” she explained. “I in no way believed this would come about.”

The atmosphere inside was jubilant: Girls posed for photos powering the ballot box and yelled “Mabrook,” the Arabic word for congratulations, to a single other as they exited.

But in this deeply patriarchal culture, there is still some opposition to females taking on a lot more well known roles in general public life—including from other ladies.

Manal al-Sharif, a previous journalist and an activist who aided lead a 2011 marketing campaign for women’s driving rights, appeared on tv to urge females to sign up ahead of the election when she acquired an angry contact from a viewer primarily based in the city of Medina.

“She attacked me,” Ms. al-Sharif recalled. “She explained: ‘What are you speaking about? Go back home to consider treatment of your young children! Ladies in Saudi Arabia have no value.’”

She was hopeful the standing of women would boost even more soon after Saturday’s vote.

“This is not ample but it is a very first action,” she explained. “Maybe soon after this more doorways will open for us.”

Compose to Ahmed Al Omran at Ahmed.AlOmran@wsj.com and Margherita Stancati at margherita.stancati@wsj.com


WSJ.com: Planet Information

Saudi women vote in local elections for first time

Agen Sabung Ayam

Posted December thirteen, 2015 06:44:34

Saudi Arabian women have voted for the initial time in neighborhood council elections and have also stood as candidates.

The step was hailed by some activists in the Islamic patriarchy as a historic adjust, but by other individuals as just symbolic.

“As a very first action it is a fantastic achievement. Now we truly feel we are element of modern society, that we contribute,” mentioned Sara Ahmed, a physiotherapist moving into a polling station in north Riyadh.

“We speak a lot about it, it really is a historic day for us.”

The election, which follows men-only polls in 2005 and 2011, is for two thirds of seats on councils that formerly experienced only advisory powers, but will now have a constrained determination creating position in neighborhood authorities.

Around 900 ladies and 6,000 gentlemen are in the race for seats on municipal councils throughout the place.

The legal voting age has also been reduced from 21 to eighteen.

This incremental expansion of voting legal rights has spurred some Saudis to hope the Al Saud ruling loved ones, which appoints the nationwide govt, will sooner or later carry out more reforms to open up up the political technique.

Saudi Arabia is the only region in which girls are not able to drive and a woman’s male “guardian”, normally a father, husband, brother or son, can cease her travelling abroad, marrying, functioning, researching or obtaining some kinds of elective surgical procedure.

Under King Abdullah, who died in January and who introduced in 2011 that females would be capable to vote in this election, measures had been taken for women to have a even bigger public position, sending a lot more of them to university and encouraging female employment.

Nonetheless, whilst women’s suffrage has in numerous other countries been a transformative instant in the quest for gender equality, its effect in Saudi Arabia is likely to be much more minimal thanks to a broader absence of democracy and ongoing social conservatism.

Ahead of Abdullah introduced women would get component in this year’s elections, the country’s Grand Mufti, its most senior spiritual determine, explained women’s involvement in politics as “opening the doorway to evil”.

The pace of social reform in Saudi Arabia, whilst ultimately dictated by the Al Saud, is also strongly affected by a tussle in between conservatives and progressives above how the country must marry its spiritual custom with modernity.

Reuters

Topics: planet-politics, elections, community-and-society, girls, faith-and-beliefs, government-and-politics, saudi-arabia


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Saudi Women Vote for First Time

Agen Sabung Ayam

Saudi females headed to the polls in a nationwide municipal election on Saturday, voting and operating for place of work for the first time in their country’s heritage.

Out of 6,900 candidates competing for 2,a hundred elected seats in Saudi Arabia’s regional councils, 979 are women, but couple of are predicted to acquire a seat. There are 3,159 seats in complete, but a 3rd of the representatives are appointed by the minister of municipal and rural affairs.

The Persian Gulf kingdom is an absolute monarchy and nearby councils are the only popularly elected bodies that exist. Their powers are limited: They oversee urban development initiatives, but have no final say on how the cash is expended.

But in a nation exactly where females are deprived of numerous fundamental rights, which includes the capability to push or travel overseas with no the authorization of a male guardian, several female voters see their inclusion in the election procedure as a turning point.

“Even if the change takes place in the following technology, what issues to me is that I’m component of it now,” mentioned Rozana Al Banawi, as she created her way to a polling station Saturday early morning in the coastal town of Jeddah.

But even with the opening, only one hundred thirty,000 girls registered to vote, compared with 1.36 million gentlemen. There are about seven million suitable male and feminine voters in the place.

Amid the women trickling steadily into a girls’-faculty-turned-station in the northern city of Jeddah was seventy three-year-previous Ehsan Shallan, a widow and former worker of the country’s ministry of schooling.

“It is anything that I deeply wanted—being capable to give girls a voice,” she said. “I never ever imagined this would take place.”

Jedaia al-Qahtany, the spokesman of Saudi Arabia’s election commission, on Saturday mentioned he is optimistic that some women would earn a seat.

“We foresee the victory of ladies, God prepared,” he mentioned.

Ladies could also safe seats in the local councils via appointments, he stated.

Compose to Margherita Stancati at margherita.stancati@wsj.com and Ahmed Al Omran at Ahmed.AlOmran@wsj.com


WSJ.com: World News

Saudi Women to Vote for First Time

Agen Sabung Ayam

RIYADH—Saudi ladies can not marry, enroll at university or journey abroad with no authorization from a male relative. But on Saturday, they will vote and run in a nationwide election for the initial time.

Critics say the alter is mostly for foreign intake and will have small effect on the standing of women in the kingdom. But several feminine voters see the vote for municipal councils as a milestone in turning this ultraconservative Gulf monarchy into a a bit much more democratic area.

“It’s a first action. It’s the commence of us turning out to be a lot more active citizens,” said Salma al-Rashid, who performs for Al Nahda Society, a team that released a countrywide marketing campaign to get out the female vote.

Saudi ladies are steadily using a much more prominent function in community lifestyle. The government is introducing a series of socially fragile reforms, like bringing more females into the place of work. Many have taken up senior positions in the personal sector.

So far, there has been astonishingly little opposition to woman voting in a nation in which ladies are not even authorized to drive. One online video on social media demonstrates a male slashing the campaign poster of a feminine applicant. One more states: “We are not able to settle for this.”

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy with no elected legislature and minimal place for political participation. The initial municipal elections have been only held in 2005.

6 many years later on, the country’s late monarch, King Abdullah, mentioned that women, way too, would soon be authorized to vote. The announcement was hailed as a breakthrough for women’s rights in the kingdom, and it is regarded as one particular of Abdullah’s most essential legacies.

King Abdullah also introduced females on to the Shura Council, an appointed entire body which advises the federal government on policy and serves as a quasi-parliament with limited legislative powers. Ladies make up a fifth of the council.

Women who registered in advance of this municipal election depict only a small portion of the electorate. They make up around one hundred thirty,000 out of the country’s one.49 million registered voters.

The issues assortment from opening of new working day-care centers to repairing potholes and selling more healthy ingesting.

The variety of registered voters is a portion of the inhabitants of about 31 million, roughly a third of whom are migrant personnel and not suitable to vote. Fewer than 50 percent-a-million new voters registered this time about.

There are approximately 980 woman candidates out of a whole of much more than 6,900 and few, if any, are predicted to in fact acquire a seat.

“This is to confirm that we are citizens—and that is more critical than profitable,” said one particular prospect, a Riyadh-primarily based physician. She didn’t want to be named since Saudi election principles prohibit candidates from supplying interviews in the two months prior to the vote.

That is one of many restrictions that have contributed to generating the election unusually quiet, at least compared with countries like the U.S.

Saudi candidates are barred from exhibiting their personal photos on any campaign substance. And, in keeping with the kingdom’s rigorous policy of gender segregation, they are not permitted to straight interact with possible voters of the reverse intercourse.

Since the overwhelming vast majority of registered voters are males, this rule has posed a bigger impediment to woman candidates. Some experienced to count on male proxies to do the conversing for them. Other people communicated to possible male voters via screens or with the aid of digital products.

At her campaign headquarters in a higher-end Riyadh lodge, one prospect set up a audio connection to speak to males sitting in a nearby space. For many of the candidates, most campaigning took place on-line, through social media and web sites abundant in visible material that comprehensive their software.

Even with these endeavours, the solitary biggest challenge candidates have confronted is apathy.

“I do not see what the level is,” explained Mahassen Bilal, a Riyadh resident, as she strolled with her partner. He as well stated he would not vote.

To inspire participation, the authorities decreased the voting age from 21 to eighteen, and released its very own marketing campaign.

Jedaia al-Qahtany, who heads Saudi Arabia’s election commission, explained he is happy with the numbers.  

“It’s a new encounter,” he said.

Candidates are competing for about two,one hundred seats in neighborhood councils, which have some electricity to approve budgets and to oversee the servicing of community services this sort of as roadways and colleges. Two thirds of three,159 seats in whole are elected, while the relaxation are appointed by the minister of municipal and rural affairs.

But some ladies see the election as a distraction from other, far more vexing difficulties, these kinds of as the problem of male guardianship or inequality of rights in divorce, custody and inheritance circumstances. Or the reality that they still aren’t allowed to drive.

“It’s not about the proper to vote, as considerably as getting simple civil legal rights,” mentioned Al Hanouf al-Dahash, a 27-yr-aged banker.


WSJ.com: World News

Amnesty International warns against mass Saudi execution in coming days

Sabung Ayam Online

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 27 (UPI) — Amnesty Worldwide warned the Saudi Arabian government is arranging to execute far more than fifty men and women convicted of terrorism-relevant offenses in the coming days.

The human-legal rights team explained “countrywide media shops close to the Saudi Arabian authorities” explained the group will be set to death in a one working day. Okaz documented fifty five people would be set to death for “terrorist crimes” that led to the death of 171 folks. The professional-federal government news firm Al-Riyadh documented in a now-deleted tale fifty two would be executed. Neither stated details about the executions. Some of individuals who face execution are affiliated with al-Qaida and attempted to overthrow the federal government, Okaz documented.

Amnesty Worldwide claims that among the prisoners set to be executed are 5 Shia Muslim activists, three of whom are juvenile offenders. The mothers of the five have asked for clemency from King Salman, and professionals with the European Parliament and the United Nations have previously questioned Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of 1 of the juveniles, Ali al-Nimr. International law bars the execution of people below the age of eighteen.

“Saudi Arabia’s macabre spike in executions this calendar year, coupled with the secretive and arbitrary nature of court selections and executions in the kingdom, go away us no choice but to get these most recent warning indications extremely critically,” said James Lynch, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

Amnesty International explained Saudi Arabia has lengthy been one of the most prolific executioners in the planet. In a 2015 report, the agency described the place regularly imposes the demise penalty for non-violent crimes that consist of “sorcery”, adultery and drug offenses.

“The authorities carried out dozens of executions, several by community beheading. Those executed integrated equally Saudi nationals and international migrants,” the firm stated.

“Beheading or in any other case executing dozens of people in a solitary day would mark a dizzying descent to yet an additional outrageous lower for Saudi Arabia, whose authorities have continued to show stone-confronted cynicism and even open up defiance when authorities and common men and women all around the entire world query their sordid file on the use of the loss of life penalty,” Lynch stated.

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