In a world that should have equal rights, in many countries women are still being excluded from the right to vote. As of early 2012, women were not given voting rights in Saudi Arabia and Vatican City. In Brunei and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) both sexes are given limited rights. Bhutan has become the most recent country to actually allow women the right to vote as in 2008, their voting systems were changed from a family unit to individual.
Saudi Arabia has not allowed women the right to vote or run for any political offices. However many women tried to register for the 2011 municipal elections and were rejected. However, despite the allegations of women not having the right to vote or run for municipal offices King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has said that the next elections held in 2015 will allow women the first opportunity to vote and run for municipal office.
As the Vatican City is known as Pope Territory, it is viewed as different from the rest of the world as there elections are not a democracy but a theocracy – one that is ruled by a religious figure. Unlike, other parts of the world, the Vatican only elect a new pope after two options – the pope resigns or dies. The only people who are allowed to vote in the election of a new Pope are cardinals under the age of 80 and as by the law, women are not allowed to become priests, therefore there can be no female cardinals. So unfortunately for women ever gaining the right to vote is a no-win situation.
Unlike many countries, Brunei is still a monarchy in which the sultan heads the state and government. He is advised by council members of whom he has hand-picked, therefore there is no need for national elections. Though men and women are not allowed to vote on a national level, the country does hold universal suffrage for those 18 and older in the elections for new village leaders.
Neither gender is offered the opportunity to vote for the overall leader of the UAE, but a small percentage is allowed to cast votes for members of the national advisory council. In 2011, 20 times more voters were eligible than in the 2006 election. Many voting stations reported a higher ratio of women and one woman was also elected into the council.
However, in the question of women voting many countries that do offer equal voting rights tend to have a lower percentage of women voters. This may reflect on social and cultural traditions as well as Education in which the female population don’t completely understand what is happening so they take the easier option of not voting.