5-speed listening (Level 2)

Saudi women to vote for first time






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Saudi Arabian women are registering to vote for the first time in their history. They will vote in the city council elections later this year. They have a 21-day period to register. A Saudi newspaper said the first woman to register was Safinaz Abu Al-Shamat. She said she wanted to be, "the first woman to arrive at the centre" to register. She said it was a national duty to take part. Another woman to register was Jamal Al-Saadi. She said: "The participation of Saudi women in the municipal elections as voters and candidates was a dream for us. We are just at the beginning of the road."

Letting women vote was one of the plans of King Abdullah, who died earlier this year. The Saudi government said giving women the vote was, "a significant milestone in progress". Many women also want to run for office and take up government positions. At least 70 want to run for office and more than 80 want to be campaign managers. One of the women who wants to be a candidate in the elections is 36-year-old Haifa al-Hababi. She said she would 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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