Middle East

In pictures: Saudi women in historic vote

Saudi Arabia has held its first ever poll where women were allowed to vote and to stand as candidates. Here are some images from the historic municipal election.

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Image caption A woman arrives at a polling station in the coastal city of Jeddah. Voters are selecting candidates for some 2,100 council seats across the country.
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Image caption Many of the women recorded the occasion on their phones. Here, activist Ghada Ghazzawi makes a video thanking the late King Abdullah for the reforms allowing women to vote.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Election officials keep an eye on the process in Riyadh. As with much public life in the kingdom, women at the polling stations were segregated from men.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption A woman casts her ballot in Jeddah. Some 130,000 women were registered to vote - a number far below the 1.35m registered male voters.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Amal Badreldin al-Sawari was one of 978 women who registered as candidates. Nearly 6,000 men are also running in the council election.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Saudi women leave a polling station in Riyadh after casting their votes. The results for the election are due to be announced later on Saturday.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many women hope this will be the first step towards greater gender equality in Saudi Arabia.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption At a polling station, a sign reminds women of the need for appropriate dress. Saudi society remains deeply conservative, with women forbidden from driving.

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