Saudi Arabia have lifted their archaic and misogynist ban on women driving over the weekend. It’s simultaneously a huge step for women’s rights in the region, while also making them the very last nation in the world to allow women to drive.
Progress, I guess?
It’s all a part of a move by Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to open up the notoriously opaque and repressive nation to the world.
Which is all well and good, until you remember that many of the activists who fought for the law to change are still in jail.
Today, the driving ban has been lifted in Saudi. Today, there is no stopping women to drive. Except those who fought for this right! Jailed and branded 'traitors' by Saudi Arabia. Tell King Salman to free Saudi activists now! pic.twitter.com/KVbICBb8f2
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) June 24, 2018
In any case, to celebrate the law change, the Saudi Arabian government sent Aseel Al Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Commission, to do a joyride in an F1 racecar before this weekend’s French Grand Prix.
Because the only thing that’s better than women’s liberation is the sweet smell of rubber on tarmac!
A special way to mark a special day 👌
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 24, 2018
In all seriousness, today is a historic day for Saudi women. Many have been sharing pictures of themselves behind the wheel for the first time using the #SaudiWomenDriving hashtag, and the happiness in their faces is palpable.
— Shahad Almohsen (@shahadlmohsen) June 23, 2018
To mark #SaudiWomenDriving Day, @ArabNews has commissioned French illustrator @malikafavre, renowned for her @NewYorker and @VanityFair work, to create a special cover. Here is the animated version#SaudiWomenDriving pic.twitter.com/Eon1uKMoEz
— Arab News (@arabnews) June 23, 2018