Is it possible the Saudis are finally coming out of the dark ages in terms of how they treat women?
On Sunday, Saudi streets were filled with something they have not seen in decades: women driving vehicles.
Ban Finally Lifted
Unlike most other parts of the world, women have been banned from driving in Saudi Arabia for decades.
Roughly 30 years ago, the first campaign for women to drive took place.
Until recently, women were literally at the mercy of their husbands, sons, and friends.
That all changed when the driving ban was lifted.
The ban itself was more restrictive than just driving.
The law also relegated women to the backseat of the car as well as placed time restrictions on when and where they could meet in public places.
Perception is Reality
The challenge women will now face in this country is how well the law is both received and perceived by the men in the country.
If they are supportive of the change, it will and should remain in place.
However, if there is massive resistance to the change, the women in the country may find themselves taking another step backward, after just being nudged forward.
Great Day for Women
The women of the country were obviously very excited about the ban being lifted.
Hessah al-Ajaji was literally waiting at the stroke of midnight for the ban to be lifted so she could hit the road.
“I’m speechless. I am so excited it’s actually happening,” she stated after driving around the family Lexus within seconds of the ban ending.
Many women in Saudi Arabia, like al-Ajaji, already had their licenses and can get rolling immediately, but that is not the reality for most women.
They all still have to learn how to drive and, considering their guardian must still give approval, we should not expect to see the streets crowded with women drivers anytime soon.
Even so, this is definitely a step in the right direction for a country which has treated women like second-class citizens for far too long.