Can Women Drive in Saudi Arabia?
Women in Saudi Arabia have finally been granted the right to drive, an achievement long awaited and hard-fought for. In June 2018, King Salman of Saudi Arabia lifted a decades-long ban on women’s driving – an ominous symbol of restrictive gender roles as well as an impediment to autonomy and mobility for women. For years now women had been challenging this ban with support from many allies leading up to its end.
In September 2017 King Mohammed VI ordered the formation of a ministerial body to create laws and regulations for women drivers to take to the roads legally ️ 👩. As of June 2018 this law had become effective and women could now legally take to the roads 👩.
Though the lifting of the ban was a tremendous success, progress for women’s rights does not end there 🔚 ️ 👩. Women must still secure a driver’s license and be allowed to travel freely. Furthermore legal and social impediments still remain at the workplace in education and in the home .
The lifting of the ban itself was a hard-fought victory, a sign of the strength, and power of women and their allies in a country that has long restricted women’s rights and autonomy ️ 👩. The ban on women driving had been a symbol of the restrictive gender roles in Saudi society 🔛 🇸🇦 ️ 👩. Women were legally prevented from driving and were thus reliant upon male relatives or drivers to take them to work, school, or elsewhere, limiting the freedom of women, and making transportation expensive 🏫 👩.
Women had long fought against the ban even as it was punishable by law 👩. Women’s rights activists launched campaigns both online and in the streets to call for the lifting of the ban 👩. In 2011 a handful of women risked imprisonment and even violence to drive, leading to a wave of arrests, and harsh punishments ️ 👩 👋.
In the recent past public sentiment strongly suggested that the ban would be lifted . In late 2016, a public opinion survey conducted by the Saudi government showed that 89 percent of Saudi citizens supported women’s right to drive. In June 2017, Saudi officials presented a plan to the king that proposed lifting the ban 🇸🇦 ️. In September 2017 the king issued a royal decree that officially lifted the ban ️.
The lifting of the ban has had an impact on the lives of Saudi women already 🇸🇦 🔛 👩. Women no longer need to rely upon male drivers or family members to take them to work or school 🏫 👩 👪. The cost of transportation has decreased, allowing women to save money. Women have also taken to the roads with new confidence and enthusiasm becoming more mobile and independent 🆕 👩.
Though the lifting of the ban is a tremendous success Saudi women still face legal and social impediments to their rights in many aspects of their lives. Saudi women still need permission from a male guardian to travel and must abide by the country’s strict dress code both of which are seen as oppressive and restrictive 🇸🇦 ️ 👩 👗. There is also a legal guardianship system in place that allows men to control women’s life choices such as marriage education and employment ️ 👩 💑.
Though much progress has been made there is still much work to be done in order to protect women’s rights in Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 👩. The lifting of the ban on women driving is a tremendous success but it is also only a first step in the long path to true gender equality in Saudi Arabia 🔛 🇸🇦 ️ 👩. Women, with the support of their allies, must continue to push for more legal, and social protections in order to ensure that women have autonomy and freedom in their lives 👩. … .
In June 2018, King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered the end of the country’s decades-long ban on women’s driving, a ban that was both a symbol of the country’s restrictive gender roles and an impediment to women’s autonomy and mobility. The lifting of the ban itself was a hard-fought victory, a sign of the strength and power of women and their allies in a country that has long restricted women’s rights and autonomy. Women were legally prevented from driving and were thus reliant upon male relatives or drivers to take them to work, school, or elsewhere, limiting the freedom of women and making transportation expensive. There is also a legal guardianship system in place that allows men to control women’s life choices, such as marriage, education, and employment.
🚙 🔚 🏫 👩 🆕 🆙 👗 💰 🇸🇦 👪 💑 👋 🔛 ️