Voting for Change – Women’s Voices Being Heard

It’s not even 2016. Not by my calendar, at least. Yet, I’m already confused by the upcoming presidential campaign and the current candidates who are bidding and bartering for one of the most powerful positions in the world. Start with Donald Trump’s often offensive yet forthright tactics, front-runner Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and Bernie Sanders’ surprising grassroots-takeover, then add to the mix an oversized potluck of other POTUS suitors – and well, getting overwhelmed is no difficult task. Throw in some intense local issues that affect my county, city and state, and I am honestly conflicted about the choices I will make come voting season.

It was during my scouring for updated information about Bernie Sanders’ political views that I was humbly reminded of something that is so easy to forget, but so critical to remember – I am allowed to vote. I am allowed to make choices and then cast those choices into the multitude with others’ decisions; male and female voices alike. CNN’s news site informed me that this week, in the year 2015, women can register to vote for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia.

Although I haven’t been naive nor blind to the plight women in other countries experience, it’s regrettably simple to become numb to their oppression; however, I’m delighted to finally read about a definite win for women’s rights globally. It’s just one step, I know; for the women in Saudi Arabia who do vote, their choices will only be reflected at the municipal level and will have no affect on the exclusive laws and rulings that are handed down by the country’s monarchy. I’m not unaware. As an anonymous Saudi Arabian woman said in CNN’s article, “This is just a small part of women’s rights, participating in the municipal elections, and possibly women can perform even better than men.” I agree, and I wholeheartedly hope that the Sunni Islam practicing country will in time allow female citizens to share their voices and have an expanded role in Saudi society.

As Human Rights Watch’s article mentions, women in Saudi Arabia having this new opportunity to vote is a start. A start, after all, is always better than staying stuck in a stagnant and unjust history.

Voting for Change – Women’s Voices Being Heard

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