JAFFA, Israel – A landmark decision to allow women to vote and run in last month’s local elections in Saudi Arabia has been celebrated by women’s rights proponents and decried by conservatives.
The ongoing debate culminated in two newly elected councilwomen in the city of Jedda receiving death threats over their refusal to be separated from their male colleagues during official meetings.
Female councilors in the city said that erecting a partition in the council plenum would impinge on their duties as public servants. The death threats, Saudi media reported, were “egged on” by their male colleagues.
The Jedda municipality said in response that despite the controversy they are committed to the well being of the councilwomen, and will protect them “by every legal means possible.”