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Saudi women get right to vote for first time

September 26, 2011 12:04:13 AM PDT
For the first time in Saudi Arabia, women will be able to vote in local elections and even run as candidates.

King Abdullah announced the change on Sunday after consulting with top religious clerics.

Women will not be allowed to vote in an upcoming election on Thursday. The change most likely won't go into effect until elections in 2015.

In the meantime, a Saudi activist will be brought to trial for defying the kingdom's female driving ban.

Saudi women bear the brunt of their nation's deeply conservative values, often finding themselves the target of the unwanted attention of the kingdom's intrusive religious police, who enforce a rigid interpretation of Islamic Shariah law on the streets and public places like shopping malls and university campuses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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