There may be women out there in my home the United States who I might not enjoy sharing the road with, but I respect their right to be behind the wheel. There are hopeful signs this view may be gaining some traction in Saudi Arabia.
According to this piece by Damien McElroy of The Telegraph across the pond in London, “Saudi Arabia to lift ban on women drivers, ” that change may be on the way in the coming year:
Saudi Arabia is to lift its ban on women drivers in an attempt to stem a rising suffragette-style movement in the deeply conservative state.
Government officials have confirmed the landmark decision and plan to issue a decree by the end of the year.
My favorite quote in the piece is this one by Abdulaziz bin Salamah, the Saudi deputy information minister:
“In terms of women driving, we don’t have it now because of the reticence of some segments of society,” he said. “For example, my mother wouldn’t want my sister to drive.
“It’s something she cannot grapple with. But there is change on the way. I think the fair view is that one can be against it but one does not have the right to prevent it.”
I know of a few mothers, fathers and brothers who just might agree with bin Salamah, right here in the good-ole USA. Personally, there may be a few fingernail marks on the passenger-side armrest of my own vehicle left there by my mother. That being said, she is the one who taught me drive at 15 and I’ve been driving ever since.