Saudi Arabia makes a historic decision for women

  • 07 Oct - 13 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Saudi Arabia recently made history with a decision that pleasantly surprised the entire world. The ultraconservative kingdom has finally allowed women to drive after ending their age-old policy, which was considered a symbol of oppression around the world.

Congratulatory messages poured in from around the world, including those from celebrities like Rihanna, Kris Jenner and Dua Lipa to name a few who sent in their heartiest wishes to the Saudi women on their remarkable achievement.

The change in the kingdom’s policy is said to take effect from June 2018, wherein driving will be allowed for women aged 18 and above with tighter controls as compared to men behind the wheels.

The decision was announced through an official royal order read live on the state-owned television, as well as during a concurrent media event being held in Washington.

The decision points out the amount of damage the ban has had on the country’s reputation following their oppressive policies against women and the kingdom now expects the decision to play a part in improving their image around the world. Leaders of the kingdom also expect it to have an impact on the number of women participating in the country’s economy.

Fawziah al-Bakr, a Saudi university professor who, in 1990, was one of the 47 women to have participated in the kingdom’s first-ever protest against the ban was delighted at the landmark announcement, for many of these women also drove around the Saudi capital Riyadh, which eventually got them arrested and some also lost their jobs.

“It is amazing,” al-Bakr said. “Since that day, Saudi women have been asking for the right to drive, and finally it arrived. We have been waiting for a very long time.”