Saudi Arabian women take seats on advisory body for the first time

saudi arabia women SIPA PRESS/Rex Features

Thirty women have been sworn in to Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, a landmark ruling meaning women can shape the country's laws for the first time ever.

The Shura Council is an appointed body which exists to advise the government on new laws. The decision to appoint women was announced two years ago but the names of the women were only made public over the last month and they were sworn in on Tuesday.

Speaking to the BBC, new member Thuraya al-Arrayed said: 'I must say it's an historic occasion. I'm honoured to be part of it. If it works, if it is positive then it will change the attitudes that are still worrying about the participation of women.

'I'm not just talking about the Shura Council, I'm talking about the empowerment of women and their participation in the general affairs of the country.'

This comes after King Abdullah made other moves to give women more rights, such as giving them the right to vote in the next municipal ballot.



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