Sunday, 2 October 2011

‘Saudi Arabia gives women right to vote’, enthused The Guardian a few days ago.

Well, let’s wait and see because, as Nina Shea in National Review Online points out, King Abdullah’s decree does not contain the word ‘vote’. Rather, it says that women will have the right ‘to nominate themselves for membership in municipal councils’ and will be ‘entitled to participate in the nomination of candidates, according to the parameters of the true law.’

She explains that the elections have two phases:

the first is a process of nominating candidates that requires a certain number of supporters; the second entails the actual voting by the electorate. The king did not specifically state they could ever actually vote in the second phase of these future elections. This may be implied or it may not.

As for the stipulation that women’s participation in elections will be ‘according to the parameters of the true law’: with true law in Saudi Arabia being Islamic law, with Islam holding women to be inferior to men, and with Saudi women being ‘legally regarded as minors’, it will require some nifty jurisprudence to reupholster the Word of Allah so that women can compete as the equals of men.


T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper (tm) said...

There is zero democracy in Saudi Arabia - next question?

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