24 Apr '11, 9am

Saudi women press for franchise

JEDDAH - A GROUP of Saudi women have turned up at a voter registration office in a rare public protest against the male-only electoral system, one of the activists told AFP early on Sunday. 'We want to make our voices heard,' Nayla Attar, a businessman among a small group of activists, told AFP after making a symbolic attempt on Saturday to register for upcoming local elections in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. She said they wanted to be involved in public life and be heard. The head of the voter registration centre 'politely' turned down their applications to vote at the September municipal council elections after reminding them that women were still prohibited from voting, she said. Women in Saudi Arabia are also banned from driving and cannot travel without being authorised by a male guardian. When in public, they have to cover from head to toe. The defiant attempt to regi...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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