Saudi businesswomen will be able to stand for election to a local trade and industry chamber in the first vote of its kind for women in the conservative Muslim monarchy, a top executive said on Thursday.
Saudi authorities allowed businesswomen to take part in a November election of 18 board members of the Red Sea city of Jeddah’s Trade and Industry Chamber (JTIC), the chamber’s chairman Ghassan al-Suleiman said.
“Businesswoman in Jeddah asked this year to participate and vote in the election of the chamber’s board members,” Suleiman told reporters in a conference call.
Women account for less than 10 percent of the chamber’s 40,000 members, but Suleiman said he would be happy to see them make their presence felt in the relatively liberal city, which is also Saudi Arabia’s main commercial center.
Great news, I know. Kind of hard to be too pleased though considering women can’t vote in nationwide election for another four years. (So they say…)