Thank goodness Bush is helping to bring democracy to the Middle East. Our Saudi friends have come up with more excuses once again for allowing women the vote. What friends we have over there. Oh the horror, the thought of women in 2004 having the right to vote. It sounds as though the religious nutballs in Saudi Arabia are winning the day. With friends like these…
Women may neither vote nor run in Saudi Arabia’s first nationwide elections, the government announced Monday, dashing hopes of progressive Saudis and easing fears among conservatives that the kingdom is moving too fast on reforms.
The religious establishment had been lobbying against women’s participation in the elections, diplomats said.
Saudi women have limited freedoms. Without written permission from a male guardian, they may not travel, get an education or work. Regardless of permissions, they are not allowed to drive, mix with men in public or leave home without covering themselves with black cloaks, called abayas.
“Women are capable of voting and making the right choices,” said Ahmed, a 22-year-old marketing graduate. “Why aren’t men and women equal in this issue?”