JEDDAH: There was considerable controversy at the first meeting of the new municipal council in Jeddah recently when some male members refused to sit at the same table with two fellow female members.
This resulted in a partition being brought in so that the two women, Lama Al-Suleiman and Rasha Hafathi, could be separated from the men. However, Al-Suleiman objected to this. The partition was then removed and the women were moved to the back of the hall.
Even though this was agreed, there was further controversy when some members again objected to the women having their photographs taken with the male members of the council, according to the report.
According to a report in a local publication on Friday, the meeting was held to elect the president and deputy president of the council. The council was elected on Dec. 12 in the country’s third municipal council elections, which saw women participation for the first time as candidates and voters, according to Arab News.