Saudi women vote, and 19 female candidates win seats

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #1
    This is really great. Almost no one including the candidates expected the women to win much, if anything, and no one was sure how many women would actually come out and vote. The bar was set pretty high, e.g. I remember reading in a Christian Science Monitor piece that during the campaign women had to speak from behind screens or have male relatives speak for them, but that on the other hand, there was an official effort to minimize some effects of current societal constraints by constraining males as well (which surprised me):

    Here are two excerpts from a New York Times / AP piece after the voting:

     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
  3. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Location:
    Criminal Mexi Midget
  4. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #4
    Step toward beheading, lashing and stoning.
     
  5. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #5
    You think the females active in Saudi politics will be subjected to that for their participation?
     
  6. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Location:
    Criminal Mexi Midget
    #6
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #7
    Some people just can't accept good news.
     
  8. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #8
    I should think their getting involved in politics is a step towards changing that (attitudes towards women, their legal standing, etc.) I believe the rulers of the Saudi kingdom understand they must reform their ways. They don't really know how to do it except incrementally. They fear the Wahabi clerics. They fear their oppressed subjects. They fear the terrorists they've created by appeasing the clerics with money expended all over the world that goes at least in part to extremist madrasas. They fear losing US support. They fear Iran's influence on their Shiite subjects and immigrant workers. They're at least trying to make some moves they think will be an acceptable improvement for the one set of people who have a prayer in hell of making a real difference amongs their subjects: the women. The steps are tiny but the world sees them as positive. Even Iran does not oppress women as much as have the Saudis.
     
  9. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
  10. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #10
    I hope those 19 women don't loose their lives with this win.
     
  11. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
  12. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #12
    Looks like a good step in the right direction. It will probably still be years until they join the rest of the Middle East on this issue, but hopefully they keep having slow but steady change.
     
  13. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
  14. LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #14
    It's more than zero... and I guess it's 20 seats confirmed now. There was a piece in The Guardian reporting that overall participation in the election was quite low; the whole process is still pretty novel for the Saudis and the municipal councils are not great seats of power. Also, it may be difficult to overcome ingrained habits of staying away from anything (everything) that can be regarded as political. Open expression of political opinion can be dangerous in the kingdom, so who knows how a citizen regards safety of registering for the privilege of casting an authorized vote. Nonetheless as the AP piece had pointed out, participation of women who did actually register was very high for women, 84%; for the men it was around 42%.

     
  15. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #15
    We'll see how far they get. Saudi Arabia is still a very conservative country run by a monarchy who call all the shots. My guess is that while these women may have been finally permitted to vote, the extent of the power the female winners obtained at the local level can be overridden at any time by the royal family.
     
  16. LizKat, Dec 14, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015

    LizKat thread starter macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #16
    True. But "the royals" are out of control in the nextgens. it's part of the reason the reforms are happening. They're messages to those princes and princesses that things are getting different now. Because of how many they are -- in the thousands!-- the princelings' monthly allowances are nothing compared to what their parents and grandparents hauled down. So something has to change.

    The Saudis with their half-tapped oil fields are looking at a past filled with terrible decisions: to fritter away money on palaces at home and elsewhere, yachts, planes, amusements, never mind the cycle of buy-our-planes, we-buy-your-oil. They have bought stuff they don't need from us and Europeans. The stuff they do need they mainly need to protect themselves from the potential wrath of their own citizens, since the USA so far is presumed to stand protector over “our” oil in their lands. It's not a very independent situation, one could say.

    The way the kingdom operates now is unsustainable. They know it. But as I posted earlier, they must install change incrementally. They apparently figure to give citizens small freedoms gradually, in some ways almost as China has been doing, albeit from within a different political framework.

    A pressing question is this: did they start soon enough? We have to remember that all their explosion of wealth from oil, and everything that has followed, began less than a hundred years ago, but they entered history at a time when the pace of the world was already accelerating. Before that the kingdom was a place of mud walled little towns and nomadic tribes working the date palms and camel trade. It’s been an extraordinary journey and of course filled with as many mistakes as those of any other nation trying to grow up.

    The old saw about "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" is still true and especially for the absolute monarchies.
     

Share This Page