Is It Really The 21st Century? Saudi Women Get Their Driver's Licenses For The First Time In History
June 7, 2018 15:17 By Fabiosa
We all know that the rights of women in Saudi Arabia were never made equal to men’s. For example, women there can’t go out alone without the consent of a mahram, their husband or a male relative.
They should wear a black floor-length dress and a hijab when in public. And on top of it, even for the most innocent misconduct, they can be punished to the fullest extent of law.
But luckily, there are some changes underway. In September 2017, King Salman announced that the ban on female drivers would end soon. And now, 10 women in the kingdom have already received their driver’s licenses. As one of them, Tahani Aldosemani, said:
Driving for women is not just about driving a car; it enhances strength of character, self-confidence, and decision-making skills.
Kdonmuang / Shutterstock.com
These are the very first driver’s licenses issued to females in the country. Officials expect that there will be at least 2 thousand more to seek licenses in the upcoming week.
Although some got lost in celebration, many Twitter users are still skeptical of this news. There are many activists arrested for protesting against the ban earlier. It’s known that the government released 8 people, but another 9 still remain in custody.
In May, Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah al-Saud appeared on the cover of Vogue Arabia in the driver’s seat, lauding the upcoming reforms.
Beautiful cover (both the stunning look and deeper meaning) by Vogue Arabia featuring Princess Hayfa. pic.twitter.com/quiORvsiuj— JRR Gerth (@JRRGerth) June 6, 2018
But it was greatly criticized because of all the activists arrested for campaigning for the right to drive. Some even photoshopped the faces of the detained women over the princess.
While Vogue Arabia celebrates Saudi's lifting of the driving ban on women with a cover featuring a Saudi princess, the women's rights activists who campaigned against the ban have been detained pic.twitter.com/8DXS89Xkd7— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) June 1, 2018
Saudi women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24.