5-speed listening (Level 1)

Saudi women to vote for first time






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Saudi Arabian women are registering to vote for the first time ever. They will vote in elections later this year. The first woman to register was Safinaz Al-Shamat. She wanted to be, "the first woman to arrive at the centre" to register. She said it was her national duty. Another woman who registered said: "The participation of Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters…was a dream for us. We are just at the beginning of the road."

Letting women vote was a plan of King Abdullah, who died earlier this year. The Saudi government said letting women vote was, "a significant milestone in progress". At least 70 women also want to run for office and more than 80 want to be campaign managers. A possible candidate in the elections is 36-year-old Haifa al-Hababi. She wants to campaign for change. She said that: "Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it."

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