1st Saudi Woman Councilor Elected

1st Saudi Woman Councilor Elected1st Saudi Woman Councilor Elected

A woman has won a seat on a municipal council for the first time in Saudi Arabia, after the kingdom lifted its ban on women taking part in elections.

Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi won a seat in Mecca Province in Saturday’s vote, the electoral commission said.

A total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men. Officials said about 130,000 women had registered to vote in Saturday’s poll, compared with 1.35 million men, BBC reported.

The vote is being seen as a milestone in the conservative kingdom, which is the only nation where women are not allowed to drive. Female candidates had to speak behind a partition while campaigning or be represented by a man. Turnout was high, state media reported.

Elections themselves are a rare thing in the Saudi kingdom—Saturday was only the third time in history that Saudis had gone to the polls. There were no elections in the 40 years between 1965 and 2005.