Written by Mertice Ho

Ten women have so far collected their driving licence in Saudi Arabia, a conservative country that has only recently decided to lift the ban on women driving. These ten individuals will be able to drive once the ban is officially lifted on June 24 and it is expected that 2,000 more women will join the ranks of licensed drivers in the country.

While this might seem encouraging news for human rights, much of the restrictions on women’s liberties are still in place in Saudi Arabia. For example, women must still stick to a strict dress code and receive written permission from a male guardian if they want to travel, work or even access healthcare! Additionally, over the past several weeks, several women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia have been arrested by Saudi authorities. Although eight individuals have been released “temporarily”, this move seems contrary to the lifting of the ban perhaps signalling that not all that much has changed.

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