Women in Saudi Arabia are Legally Allowed to Drive

As of this Tuesday, September 26th, the ban on female drivers was finally lifted in Saudi Arabia. Driving is more than just operating machinery. Driving means agency and autonomy. It is symbolic for women’s ability to come and go freely. This is a huge step forward for the women’s advocates who have been fighting for this right for years. This has been met with all kinds of resistance from both men in Saudi Arabia and the government.

In June of 2011, as part of a movement called “Women2Drive,” in Saudi Arabia, 38 year old Manal al-Sharif posted a video of herself driving and posted it to YouTube. She was subsequently arrested and spent nine days in prison (http://nypost.com/2017/09/28/meet-the-saudi-woman-who-fought-for-womens-right-to-drive/).

A few months ago, Saudi Arabian women made an extremely risky and brave move. They created a music video (in Arabic) that went viral. It advocated for women to be given all the same rights as men. This included driving and the right to divorce.

While being given the ability to drive is a huge step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia, it is important to remember all of the rights these women still don’t have and will have to fight for in the future (http://www.businessinsider.com/saudi-arabia-women-rights-driving-ban-mal...):

·         The right to marry and divorce freely

·         Access to healthcare

·         Choosing their own occupation

·         Ability to wear what they want in public

·         Ability to testify in court

·         Right to gain custody of children in court

·         Right to inheritance

·         Right to sit with men in public spaces

Keep up the fight ladies.