I learned a startling fact today. Women in Saudi Arabia just now received the right to drive a car. Yes, you read that right, to drive a car.
The recent US presidential election really brought out my feminist side. I normally don’t like to label myself because I feel like society does that for us enough already, but I am a feminist (I’m not going to do anything extreme because of this and I’m not going to start shoving my opinions down anyone’s throat so don’t worry). I truly believe there is a difference between the way women and men are treated and I think it needs to end.
I am not naïve enough to think that the rest of the world is perfect or that being a woman in the United States is the worst thing ever. But I will admit to being naïve about just how bad it is for women in other countries, like Saudi Arabia. Learning that women just now earned the right to drive really hit me.
The reasons for women not being able to drive until now ranged from it would lead to promiscuity to driving could harm women’s ovaries. Women could have received jail time for being caught driving. Women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from traveling and even receiving certain medical procedures without the consent from a male guardian. While some of the laws have relaxed a little over the years, men still basically have complete control over the movement of their wives and daughters.
The change in law will begin in June of 2018. Women will have restrictions as far as where and when they can drive. Nevertheless, this is a huge step for women in Saudi Arabia.
Reading further into how women are treated in Saudi Arabia has really opened my eyes to what being a feminist should mean. I will admit to focusing way too much attention on the way women are treated in the United States. I think it is super important to remember that as a feminist I want to work towards equality for ALL women. Not just women in the United States.
I am so happy for the women in Saudi Arabia. I am thrilled that their government decided to take this historic step towards equality.
I am also more determined than ever to close the gap between men and women all over the world. Hearing this story really opened up my eyes to how much work needs to be done and how this is a bigger problem than I had previously thought it was.
This experience taught me that there is still so much I have to learn about this world. It also taught me that there is hope! We should not be discouraged, we are strong as hell and we can do anything we put out minds to.
I am a feminist and I want to see women’s equality across the globe in my lifetime.