Sibounma: Women on the road in Saudi Arabia

Ella Sibounma

Women finally have the right to drive in Saudi Arabia. This groundbreaking change could pave the way to a more equal and liberated future for women in Saudi Arabia, and eventually all of the Middle East.

This change is thanks to a new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The young royal has been causing many changes in order to reform the economy by 2030 in a plan he calls Vision 2030. One of the aspects of this plan is to increase the number of women in the workforce, leading to their ability to drive.

This might be a big step in the right direction, but Saudi Arabia still has a long way to go. There are still a lot of things that women are not allowed to do. These rules and laws are based on Sharia due to the large amount of Muslims, specifically Sunni Muslims, in the area. Saudi Arabia has a rich culture that is hard for some people to understand, especially those outside of the Middle East. Some of their laws seem to be unfair to women, but are important to their religion and culture.

I’m not saying that we should just accept how things are or that everyone in Saudi Arabia agrees with how things are there. There have been protests for the rights of women for decades. But, we must respect that cultures and beliefs are different all around the world. We should be open minded about different rules and customs, even if we don’t understand them.

I believe all people should have equal rights, so certain rules in Saudi Arabia rub me the wrong way. The guardianship laws, which restrict women from making decisions on their own, are one of the customs I can’t bring myself to agree with.

Women are obviously capable of making their own decisions and should be in charge of their own lives. I think that by using these laws and others they are demeaning women and taking away their power. Women are an essential part of society and should be treated as such.

In any case, this is welcome news. In a world full of death, violence and mistreatment, this is a positive and progressive change happening in the world today. Hearing news like this gives me hope for the future and reassurance that some things are getting better. Saudi Arabia has grown socially; women have been elected to Consultative Council and can earn a college education. I think that we are on the right track with this decree, and I hope that we will continue to create a more equal and just world.