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Saudi Arabian women have been registering to vote for the first time in their history. Women will be able to vote in the city council elections later this year. They now have a 21-day period to register. The Saudi Gazette 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" and the first woman to register. She also said it was a national duty to take part in elections. Another woman to register early was Jamal Al-Saadi. She told reporters that: "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 an important step. It added that it was, "a significant milestone in progress". As well as being able to vote, many women also want to run for office and take up government positions. At least 70 women want to run for office, and more than 80 have registered as campaign managers. One of the women who wants to be a candidate in the December elections is 36-year-old Haifa al-Hababi. She said she would campaign with a message 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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