King Abdullah appointed women to the shura council (advisory council), a historic move in modern day Saudi Arabia, which was founded by King Abdulaziz who is known to have to call himself “brother of Nora”, his sister, a woman he often consulted for her wisdom, and recently had a university built in her name.
The role of women is steadily and surely increasing, and King Abdullah is making sure it happens as fast as it can, even though it might seem slow, but remember, it took us a while to get here. Women were given scholarships to study abroad, able to stay in hotels without needing a male guardian, now have more opportunities to work, and many more things that women regularly do and probably take for granted in other neighboring countries with similar conditions.
Women now represent 20% of the shura council, and according to the pareto principal (the 80-20 rule, or the law of the vital few) let’s hope this 20 percent is more effective at targeting issues.
At least now their voices are being heard, and some of the names I read are very inspiring and influential in Saudi.
Of course this did not stop people from mocking the whole thing, sexism is alive and well in the most open of societies, ask Julia Gillard the Australian prime minister, or check American politics, no one is immune.
Whoever says this step is not huge, do not know what they are talking about.