The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known for its conservativeness towards women but now it seems like the thoughts are changing slowly. The country was the only place where the females were banned from driving till a few weeks back. The ban on female motorists was lifted as a part of the much talked about liberalization drive led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Since the ban is lifted, Saudi women are now able to enjoy the speeds on their own, something which was unimaginable a few weeks back. 30 year old Rana Almimoni is a motor racing enthusiast and is trying to defy a perception that only dainty cars with bright colors are popular with women. Almimoni, now skids and drifts around the Riyadh park with roaring engines and screeching tyres.
She added that she was waiting for the government for the decision that would permit women to obtain a racing license which would allow her to follow her passion in motor sport competitions. However, despite the freedom, there are a few glitches, as many have complained that the driving courses are several times costlier than those which are available for men and that women instructors are in short supply.
So far no overt incidents of street harassments have been reported so far but many women are aware of pervasive sexism and also aggression from the male drivers despite the warning from the authorizes. There are also a few women activists who have also been opposing the driving ban and also opposed the system of male guardians as , fathers, husbands or other male relatives need to permit to travel or get married. Kristin Diwan, from the Arab Gulf States Institute In Washington said, “The Saudi government is expanding entertainment options for Saudi women but eliminating space for political expression”. However, despite the freedom for lady drifters, the freedom of speech would remain in the same place as denied.
Photo Credits: Quartz