Due to the late King Abdullah's efforts in creating new opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia, they will be able to both vote and run in December's elections for the first time in the kingdom's history.

More than 1,000 women nominated themselves as candidates for the country's local council elections after Abdullah's decree granted them the right to run, and their names have now been published.

Some of the country's leading figures for women's rights are among the nominees who decided to embrace the new opportunity.

Candidate No. 1 for Riyadh District 5 is the woman who was ranked third in Arabian Business's 100 Most Powerful Arab Woman of 2015, Loujain Al-Hathloul .

She garnered international media attention when she was arrested in December 2014 and detained for 73 days for attempting to drive across the border from the UAE to Saudi Arabia as a part of a campaign to grant Saudi Arabian women the right to drive.

“I’m not excited by the idea of winning, I’m focused on increasing the number of women who stand in elections," Hathloul told The Telegraph.

Another prominent advocate and one of the leaders of the driving campaign is Nassima Al-Sadah, who is running for a seat in the Eastern Province town of Qateef.

“Men have to know that women must sit beside them in every decision-making and that their voices should be heard,” she told The New York Times .

Sadah, who established a campaign committee and held workshops to encourage more women to participate in the elections, was one of the women who sued the Saudi Interior Ministry in 2012 over the ban on women driving. She has also been active in campaigning for the rights of Qateef's Shia community.

Haifa Al-Halabi, who like Hathloul benefited from the thousands of student scholarships given to women to study abroad in Abdullah's era, is a candidate for Riyadh District 4.

The 38-year old architect, who also voices her opinions through a column in a local newspaper, is running in the elections to benefit her community with her architectural principles such as instituting good design as a "way of life".

Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia's gender segregation rules impose barriers on the women's campaigning efforts, as photographs of them can't be used and they can't address men directly at campaign meetings, the hopeful female candidates still believe it's worth it to participate.

“It’s just baby steps, and the people want more and more. It’s not that they are giving us our rights. But it’s not too hard a way to educate women and people in general throughout society what our rights are," said Sadah.