(RIYADH, Saudia Arabia) — For the first time in Saudia Arabia, women have been named to the king’s advisory body known as the Shura Council. It has no legislative power, but the move is politically significant in the conservative kingdom where women aren’t allowed to drive or travel without a male guardian.
Before the publication of the royal decrees, King Abdullah consulted religious experts to ensure that female participation on the council would comply with Islamic law, BBC News reports.
Women will make up 30 of the 150 members, the bare minimum allowed by the king’s decree.
Men and women will be separated by a screen and will come in through a separate entrance, to ensure gender segregation.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN