On Sunday, for the first time in Saudi Arabia, women will have the right to drive. According to the front page of the New York times, women plan to hit the streets in everything from Hot Rods to Harleys.
Although the joys of driving don’t erase the blatant inequality still faced by women of Saudi, it’s a celebrated step forward. Saudi law and customs make women dependent on male relatives and husbands. Even women who live with considerable freedoms, do so under the permission of a male family member. Although rulers have announced that Saudi women do not need permission from males to apply for a drivers license, there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome- women need drivers training to obtain a license and only a limited number of training facilities have opened to women, plus its 4 times more expensive then male training.
But no matter the struggles ahead, Sunday will be a day of celebration for many Saudi women, who will be proudly cruising the streets for the first time.
My car has always been a safe zone for me, a place I can sing as loud as I want, cry as loud as I want, and drive as far as I want until I feel like stopping. Tomorrow, I’ll be thinking of all the women in Saudi, who will hopefully be experiencing these feelings of freedom for the first time.
Its a reminder that we’re all in the fight for equality together, even though we may be at different stages of the struggle.