Saudi Arabia Agrees To Let Women Drive….. (In 2017) September 29, 2017 – Posted in: Life Stories

“My advice to women all the time is: If you want a certain future, go out and create it. Conquer your fears as that is what enslaves most women.”  – Divine Ndhlukula 

I came across the title above, I was so astounded, I had to copy and paste it right away. If you’ve been reading my words, you know by now that I’m a modern day woman with the belief that women are a force to reckon with. I believe in today’s woman and in her ability to change the world one dream at a time so I was first of all thrown away by the words ‘let’ and then by the history behind this development after I got to understand it a little bit more.

The multiple generations of Saudi Arabian women have never been allowed to drive or even get driving licenses, women have married men that drove them everywhere, daughters have grown watching their mothers accept not driving as their lifestyle and have been initiated into the system without a say; just another generation to fall in line until Tuesday 26th July 2017 when the announcement that is set to be implemented from June 2018 was made. Some women have now been permitted to drive; I say some because this permission comes with restrictions such as age, consent, dress code, zones and curfews. Still it is a step in the right direction. I may not relate to the feeling of being a part of the country where I live such a controlled life and I may not understand living with so many of the rules set there but I accept it as their reality and I celebrate with them for this victory as it’s something that many activists have been fighting for since the early 1990’s.

In the reality of the limitations placed on Saudi Arabian women from birth, some have gone on to become successful and phenomenal; from activists to entrepreneurs to CEOS to influencers and these women are my true heroes for the day. It’s one thing for a woman to dream, it’s another thing for a woman in Saudi Arabia to dream, act and build an empire. Some of these women include Lubna Olayan (listed by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world), Nabilah Al-Tunisi (a notable electrical engineer), Sarah Al-Suhaimi (the first woman to chair the Saudi Arabia stock exchange), Rasha Al-Hoshan (a super entrepreneur), Huda Al-Ghoson (dubbed ‘a leader by nature’). I list the few phenomenal women to say that the limitations we place on ourselves are usually self created because even when the odds are not in your favor, there’s always a way.

Allowing women to drive is definitely a positive step in the right direction, it opens the conversation for the chance for more women to dream, to build, to be. This change was pushed by a millennial and it strengthens my faith in the millennial generation. I have always believed that we would be the ones to truly change the world having experienced life before the growth of technology and life after the invention of technology that gives one a strong voice and puts one on the map. We have lived 2 worlds so therefore we have the power and most importantly we also have the strength to build, we just have to be open to unlearning and relearning, letting go of some of what has been ordained and enforced by the older generation while replacing it with what we see and believe to be right, true and the way forward to a greater tomorrow.

Well done to the women that still try, the ones that fight for a future they believe in even when it’s one they’ve never personally experienced. You are inspiring to me.

Love x Light

N.