Starting this December, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to vote and run for office, but they will still be barred from interacting with men, wearing makeup, going for a swim, driving a car, participating in sports…the list goes on and on…

Jen Hobbs

Why is Saudi Arabia considered one of our allies? The country oppresses women, and there’s significant proof that the Royal family funded the 9/11 hijackers. 

Senator Bob Graham, the former Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who wrote the 9/11 Report, explains the evidence behind their involvement in this video:

In case you missed it, last week the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed women to register to vote for the first time in the history of the country.

Women are now able to register to vote in municipal elections, and they began the registration process over the weekend.

This change has been a long time coming, but don’t congratulate the country on its new stance on equality just yet.

Vox reports that “the late King Abdullah actually agreed the voting reform in 2011, but delayed its effect until this year.”

And women still have obstacles to overcome in order to vote. As reported by, “many Saudi women do not have the ID cards that will be required of them in order to vote.”

“In principle, all Saudi women can obtain ID cards without asking anyone else’s permission,” Adam Coogle of Human Rights Watch explained. “But bars on women’s freedom of movement and opposition from male family members can make it difficult for some women to obtain ID card.”

In Saudi Arabia, there is a “guardianship” system, which gives male relatives legal control over many aspects of women’s lives.

ThinkProgress reports on some of the laws and regulations:

  • Women are barred from attending school, working, traveling abroad, filing a lawsuit, or, in some cases, even receiving medical treatment, without the permission of their fathers, brothers, or husbands.
  • Additionally, a woman’s testimony in court is often worth half that of a man. 
  • Daughters receive half of the inheritance that sons are given.
  • Women are also  forbidden  from driving cars.

If that’s not oppressive, then I don’t know what is…oh, wait…there’s more?

According to Vox, even though women now have the legal right to vote:

  • All public buildings continue to have separate entrances for men and women.
  • Women are still legally required to have a male chaperone with them in public at all times.
  • Women are still required to cover themselves completely when in public.
  • Women still aren’t able to prevent their husbands from taking additional wives.

“The whole system of women’s subordination to men in Saudi Arabia needs to be dismantled,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa. “While moving in the right direction, Saudi Arabia is moving far too slowly. Ultimately, it is no great achievement to be one of the last countries in the world to grant women the vote.”

No kidding.

The first elections that women will be able to cast their votes in will take place in December. It will be interesting to see how many women get permission to vote (and then a ride to the voting booth) from their husbands, brothers, or fathers. What a country. 

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