Saudi women to study politics at national universities

By Al Arabiya

Saudi Ministry of Higher Education told colleges across the Kingdom on Saturday to enroll female students in their political science departments.

Dr. Sarhan al-Otaibi, a professor of political science at King Saud University in Riyadh, told Asharq newspaper that King Saud University will be the first university to open its doors to welcome female students wanting to pursue political science beginning next year.

Dr. Otaibi recommended the granting of permission to women to study politics to the Ministry months saying that “most students have shown a great eagerness to study this discipline [and studied] related subjects that eventually overlap with political science.”

He added that nowadays the number of women interested in this science exceeds the number of men so women should be allowed to utilize the political science department at King Saud University just like their counterparts who were given the go-ahead years ago.

He believes the timing is right for women to put theory into practice in political fields, especially at the ministerial level as well as in government bodies. He also expects women to form a clear political vision in the near future.

He said that students who wish to enroll in non-political disciplines to their Master’s program should have a related educational background, and maybe be required to add certain numbers of courses to their degrees.

Saudi Arabia announced last year that women would have the right to vote and run in future municipal elections in 2015. King Abdullah announced the changes in a speech to a new term of the Shura Council, saying the new measures would be in place in time for nationwide local elections in 2015.

(Translated by Ikram al-Yacoub)

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