History was made on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where, for the first time in its history, a woman won a seat on Mecca’s municipal council in the country’s first-ever elections open to female voters and candidates, the country’s election commission announced today.
Quoting the official SPA news agency AFP reported that Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in the holy city of Mecca.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that votes were still being counted.
Officials said about 130,000 women had registered to vote in Saturday’s poll, compared with 1.35 million of men.
Women were also standing as candidates, another first, despite the conservative kingdom being the only nation where women are not allowed to drive.
A total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men.
Female candidates had to speak behind a partition while campaigning or be represented by a man. Turnout was high, state media reported.