For the first time in the country’s history, women are being allowed to vote and stand for election in Saudi Arabia.
And the historic vote for Saudi Arabian women is being closely followed by Saudi Arabians here in Vancouver, like Khadija Al Dabbagh.
“It’s an exciting thing that’s happening back home and people are excited to cast their votes and get their voices heard.”
The UBC computer science student says she spoke to her mother back home in Saudi Arabia who cast her first ever ballot.
“This election is long overdue, and this is a pace that works for us. I’m just glad that it’s happening, and there’s a lot of powerful women back home who are really working to get the voices of their communities heard.”
But Al Dabbagh says despite the progress, she thinks further change will be slow to come.
“Saudi Arabia is a relatively new country and implementing a system like this, it takes time. I really do think it’s going to be a while before the women of the country really take advantage of this as much as they can.”
The vote itself is rare. This was only the third election ever held in the country.