2. Saudi Women Get the Vote.
Though they were still barred from driving themselves to the polls, some women of Saudi Arabia made herstory this past week as they exercised the first voting and government participation rights granted to them--like, ever. It’s true that within this highly conservative nation--one that maintains Shariah Law as the law of the land--women still cannot drive cars, go out into public without a male family member, or socialize with non-familial men. In fact, Saudi Arabia is largely considered one of the most hostile places on the planet to be a woman; so any step forward is a step appreciated. In an authoritarian monarchy like Saudi Arabia, elections in general are considered rather symbolic, but this one stands out as particularly ineffective in the battle for protecting human rights (only 20 of the 2100 municipal seats up for election were actually filled by women with this first election). Even so, the symbolic nature of allowing women to vote is important. And yeah, we’re all aware that if we want to see women treated as full human beings, Saudi Arabian officials could benefit from a women’s studies class or two--but then again, who couldn’t? (Ahem, let’s have a chat, U.S.A.) ←- srsly, click that link.