At least seven women won municipal council seats in Saudi Arabia’s first ever election open to female voters and candidates, officials said Sunday, in a milestone for the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom.
“Even if it was only one woman, we’re really proud of that. Honestly, we weren’t expecting anyone to win,” said Sahar Hassan Nasief, a women’s rights activist in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
At least seven women emerged victorious from a field of candidates vastly outnumbered by men in a male-dominated society.
Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to a council in the holy city of Mecca, the official SPA news agency reported, citing election commission president Osama al-Bar.
She ran against seven men and two women in Saturday’s ballot, he added.