Even in a kingdom with few occasions for voting, the scene would be unremarkable save for one aspect that would have made it unthinkable just five years ago.
In the room are 21 female candidates, all dressed in the black cloaks that are compulsory under the strict Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, learning how to woo voters and manage campaigns and budgets in the first election that’s open to women in the kingdom.
“My message during my campaign is simple: change,” said Haifa Al-Hababi, 36, who is preparing to stand and has four months to hone her pitch before the December election. “Change the system. Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it.”
While giving women more of a voice is a watershed alone, it also underlines the growing importance of having them play a bigger role in society and, crucially, the economy."
Read article by Deema Almashabi Donna Abu-Nasr from Bloomberg.