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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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Saudi Arabian women given the right to vote

King Abdullah has announced that from next year women will be able to vote and stand in local elections.

A Saudi women attends the traditional Arda dance, or War dance, during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh
A Saudi women attends the traditional Arda dance, or War dance, during the Janadriyah Festival of Heritage and Culture, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh
Image: [File photo] AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

THE KING OF Saudi Arabia has said that women are being given the right to vote and run in elections for the first time.

The 87-year-old has given a speech in which he said that women will be allowed to stand and vote in local elections, and to join the Shura council, reports the Guardian.

King Abdullah has said that women will be allowed to participate in the voting process from next year.

Women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving, and are not allowed to travel, work or have medical procedures without the permission of a male relative.

The BBC reports that there has been debate in the country about the role of women, and that this announcement may ease some of the growing tension in Saudi Arabia over the treatment of women.

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Emer McLysaght

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