Saudi women assert themselves in ways once unimaginable

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Change is coming to a kingdom once stuck firmly in the past. Women are asserting themselves in ways that were unimaginable until recently.

It’s six months before Saudi women will finally be allowed to drive, but Noura al-Otaibi isn’t waiting. A $170,000 Mercedes Benz takes her fancy. It is, after all, oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Her brothers have already started giving her driving lessons in the desert, she told CBS News.  

Women fought for the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, illegally taking to the road and shaming their government with protest videos.

In the ultra-conservative country, the genders have traditionally been segregated, so the driving ban has never made much sense. Women are allowed to catch taxis and use ride apps to get a car with a male driver they’ve never met. Most people CBS News spoke with want to see women behind the wheel.

Women are fighting for other freedoms, too.

171130-en-williams-saudi-arabia-04.jpg

CBS News

Halah Alhamrani, who’s opened a boxing gym called Fight Like a Girl, told CBS News she wants an end to Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system — which means all Saudi women still need a male relative’s permission to travel overseas or get married.

“I think we’re going in that direction. Inshallah. God willing,” Alhamrani said.

By Saudi standards, the country’s new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is a reformer. He’s allowing women into sport stadiums for the first time and a stampede of Saudi women is now joining the workforce.

These girls could one day have very different lives from their mothers, but in Saudi Arabia, any change is jarring, and a backlash is always possible.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Related Posts

In Brexit talks, unity has been EU’s trump card over Britain

Comments Off on In Brexit talks, unity has been EU’s trump card over Britain

Baby born from embryo frozen a record 24 years

Comments Off on Baby born from embryo frozen a record 24 years

The Blowback Against Facebook, Google and Amazon Is Just Beginning

Comments Off on The Blowback Against Facebook, Google and Amazon Is Just Beginning

Palace reveals new royal couple’s Christmas plans

Comments Off on Palace reveals new royal couple’s Christmas plans

Greece: 3 convicted in videotaped beating of mayor

Comments Off on Greece: 3 convicted in videotaped beating of mayor

Refugees just want to help make America great, new report says

Comments Off on Refugees just want to help make America great, new report says

Officers not charged in death of woman in 2014

Comments Off on Officers not charged in death of woman in 2014

Emotional support peacock denied flight by United Airlines

Comments Off on Emotional support peacock denied flight by United Airlines

Pittsburgh coach has altercation with heckling Louisville fan

Comments Off on Pittsburgh coach has altercation with heckling Louisville fan

Van strikes crowd in Germany, killing 2, injuring 20 others

Comments Off on Van strikes crowd in Germany, killing 2, injuring 20 others

Woman suffers burns after intentionally ramming her car into Florida sheriff’s office substation, police say

Comments Off on Woman suffers burns after intentionally ramming her car into Florida sheriff’s office substation, police say

Morgue debunks fake news site’s report employee cremated while taking a nap

Comments Off on Morgue debunks fake news site’s report employee cremated while taking a nap

Create Account



Log In Your Account