Saudi women use exercise as a tool to canvass votes

Women supporting Lama Al-Sulaiman's election campaign in Jeddah walk through the city's upscale Al-Basateen District. (Photo: Okaz)

A group of women recently toured the Al-Basateen District as part of a campaign in support of one of the candidates in the municipal council elections.

Olfat Bahaidar, one of the women running the campaign, said she joined the march to support Lama Al-Sulaiman’s election campaign.

“Al-Sulaiman’s campaign’s motto is ‘We deserve it’. We are marching in support of her campaign and in support of achieving change and development in our neighborhoods. It might seem unusual for people to see women marching on the streets but I have always supported sports and exercise and we are here to promote the campaign by applying what we believe is important — exercise,” said Bahaidar.

She also said the elections are a long-awaited-for opportunity for women to have their voices heard and to contribute to the development of society.

“We have many demands that we want realized. We need more parks and public recreational places. We need more women to be active in the municipal councils. We need to revitalize life in Jeddah and have everyone confident with who they and what they have to offer,” said Bahaidar.

Khadijah Bint Khuwailid Center CEO Basmah Al-Umair said there is a lot to be done in order to improve and develop the living standards in Jeddah.

“Jeddah is dubbed the Bride of the Red Sea. We need new solutions for old problems such as the floods and the public parks. We need to have more recreational facilities for young people and social facilities for the elderly,” said Al-Umair. She added we don’t give the elderly much attention when they need a lot of care.

“The senior citizens of this country are neglected. We need to have elderly care homes where there are social and entertainment programs set out for them. We also need to encourage the youth to volunteer time with the elderly,” said Al-Umair.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 10, 2015.

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Last Update: 09:21 KSA 12:21 - GMT 09:21
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