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Tue 18 Aug 2015 02:05 PM

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First female voters register for Madinah, Makkah elections

Jamal Al Saadi and Safinaz Abu Al Shamat have become the first women to register as voters for municipal elections

First female voters register for Madinah, Makkah elections

Jamal Al Saadi and Safinaz Abu Al Shamat have become the first two Saudi women to register as voters for the upcoming third municipal elections in Madinah and Makkah respectively, Saudi Gazette reported.

Voter registration began in the two holy cities on Sunday, a week earlier than the rest of the Gulf kingdom.

Both women told the paper that they had thoroughly prepared all the documents they would need so that nothing would stop them from participating in elections for the first time.

“The participation of the Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us,” Saadi said. “The move will enable Saudi women to have a say in the process of the decision-making.”

Saadi is a businesswoman, and she has chaired the real estate committee of the Madinah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In Makkah, Shamat is a teacher at one of the city’s girl’s schools. In addition to Shamat, four other women in Makkah also registered on Sunday to vote.

Makkah’s election coordinator, Ihab Al Rifaie, said the low turnover of women was due to the fact that Sunday was the first day for registration, and that he expected the number of women registering to increase with time Voter registration lasts for 21 days.