As of today there are no longer any countries that don’t allow female drivers. Saudi Arabia the last nation where is was forbidden for women to drive themselves around lifted the decade old ban and took a step forward.
I read an article published in “The Atlantic” saying that starting on June 21 in Riyadh an expo started with a tagline translating to “Have Confidence, and Get Out There”. The expo was designed to teach basic driving essentials, the expo was complete with a driving simulator where they could practice parking a car. For most of these women this marked the first time they were in the driver’s seat.
The end of the ban is a great symbol of liberation for women in this nation. With ending this ban, Saudi Arabia reputation is hoping to get a boost, It as a nation is trying to rebrand themselves as an investment powerhouse. It is all part of the Crowned Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” program he launched late last year. They are hoping that allowing the women of their nation to drive, and allowing them this freedom and increased mobility they ill increase women’s employment to 30% by 2030 as well. It sits at roughly 22% now according to CNN.
It remains to be seen what the effects of women driving mean exactly for the communities, the nation or reputation in relation to investment opportunities for Saudi Arabia actually look like however in the mean time driving schools and government offices around the country are booked solid by women excited to get their license.
I sat here and write how exciting it was to have this happen, yet at the same time I am saddened with the fact that something I take for granted like my the freedom and ability to get my driver’s license is hailed as such a jump on liberation elsewhere in 2018. As far as we have come in becoming equals we really haven’t moved the needle the same way for everyone, global equality needs to be the next step before we get so far a head we look behind us and don’t recognize ourselves. I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this for Saudi women and for their country. Congratulations to you ladies and please as always; Drive Safe.