Salma bint Hizab al-Oteibi, a Saudi woman has won a seat on Mecca's municipal council in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia's first elections, where women voters were allowed to cast their vote for the first time.

Hizab al-Oteibi was elected to the council of Madrakah, a region in the holy city of Mecca, the official SPA news agency reported, citing election commission president Osama al-Bar. She was running against seven men and two women in the constituency, it added. According to BBC, a total of 978 women have registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men.

Around 130,000 women registered to vote, the website said, adding that the numbers are far less than male voter registration, which stands at 1.35 million. A woman named Salma al-Rashed has become the first woman to register to vote. "It felt really good," she told the BBC. "Change is a big word but the election is the way to make sure we are really represented."

There were many firsts for Saudi Arabia in terms of elections. In a country where women are banned from driving, it was for the first time that women voted in the municipal elections and were also allowed to contest as candidates in the election. However, for campaigning in the elections, female candidates were only allowed to speak behind a veil or had to be represented by a man, added the website.

The turnout of women voters on Saturday has been quite high in the elections, said BBC, citing the sources from local media. Many women expressed their happiness for being allowed to vote and said they are liking the new change.

"Now women have a voice," a Saudi woman named Awatef Marzooq told the AFP after casting her vote. She also “cried” as it was something she saw “on television taking place in other countries."

Many Saudi women also took to Twitter with the hashtag #saudiwomenvote to express their excitement as Saturday is the only third time in history that the Saudi Kingdom has had elections. There were no elections in nation for the past four decades, between 1965 and 2005.

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