On Friday King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a historic decree allowing women to be members of the kingdom’s previously all-male parliament for the first time, Al-Arabiya reports. The mandate creates a 20 per cent quote for women in the 150-member Shura Council, the formal advisory board of Saudi Arabia, and the king immediately appointed 30 women to the assembly.
Al-Arabiya notes that Saudi Arabia’s ultra-conservative society doesn’t allow women to drive — despite that there is no law banning to them from doing so — but King Abdullah has cautiously introduced economic and social reforms “aimed at reconciling Saudi Arabia’s religious traditions with the needs of a modern economy and youthful population. “
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