(Women) Drivers (finally) start your engines

Did you know that Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that didn’t allow women to drive? Did you see how I wrote “was”?

Yup that is a thing of the past now. As in 13 days ago past.

How awesome is that…is this!

Women are now officially and legally allowed to drive cars. Or motorbikes. Or vans. Or even big trucks. All vehicles. As long as they have the proper licences for one or all the types of vehicles I listed.

But HOLY COW is this amazing!

Maybe for all those that don’t live in the country. Maybe not even for all those that actually live in the country. There are people who don’t approve. More so from the male gender side, but I think there are some women too. It’s a HUGE change. And with all change there is skepticism. And even fear.

Fear of what you may ask. Fear of the unknown. Fear of women being in accidents. Fear of women causing accidents. Fear of men not being nice to women who start driving. And, in my opinion, fear that with more freedom, more rights women will start being a part of more things altogether. And that can scare men. That can scare people, in general.

I won’t go into too much more detail about this, but if you look back at history this is nothing new. Women throughout time have had to deal with adversity. The right to vote. The right to be in armed forces, outside of clerical duties. The right to make choices on her body. The right to divorce. The right to an education. The right to have any job that she’s qualified to do.

And then we have the rights of those who may be black, like in America with the civil rights movements in the ’60’s.

History has shown that we can fear what we don’t understand, what is different than us, what may affect our life somehow.

It’s all quite silly to me. But hey what do I know I’m just a brown woman. 😉

People can be scare or fear what they don’t like, they don’t know or they don’t understand. That’s all fine and dandy. As long as it doesn’t interfere with progress.

Which is what is happening in Saudi Arabia. Times are a changing! And for the better!

There might be men who don’t care to see this progress. For whatever reasons; whether it be religious or cultural. But regardless of what they don’t approve of this change has taken place and more (positive) changes will only continue. And I for me things that’s pretty awesome!

All of that said, for me and the many women in this country we welcome this change with courage, tears of joy, and gratitude for those that made it happen. The Saudi family and those courageous women that fought for this day. Some even at cost.

So, what did I do to celebrate? Was I brave enough to take to the streets and drive in a country that is known for having not so safe drivers?

You bet I did!

I celebrated this positive change by getting behind the wheel. It may have only been for 15 minutes. It may not have been on the freeway even. But it was me, a woman, driving in Saudi Arabia. That’s a memory I’ll forever cherish. Though I hope to do some more driving before I leave. Knowing me…I’m sure I will! 🙂

Cheers to (positive) change! Cheers to progress! Cheers to girl power! #fistbump

P.S. If you wonder what the women here tell me about this new change. It’s almost ALL positive. They want to drive. Admittedly, some do not care to drive. But now it’s truly a choice. If they wake up tomorrow and decide (once they take the course and get a licence that is) “hey I’d like to drive myself to work or college or to the mall or anywhere” they get to! They now have a choice! And that is has them excited. As for those that don’t care to drive. For some it’s because they enjoy being driven around. Even non-Saudi women tell me they like that. Though it’s not for me. If I can drive I’d prefer to drive. And then others are more like watching how it goes. They want to see how other women, maybe Saudi women in particular, do with this change. And, lastly, there are some that can’t or won’t drive cause of their father or male guardian not giving them permission. But I’ll save that for another blog.

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