Starting in June of 2018, it will finally be legal for women in Saudi Arabia to drive, according to CNN. This makes Saudi Arabia the last country to lift the ban on female drivers.
While the kingdom still unjustly forbids women from having the freedom to buy and sell property on their own or play on state-organized and national teams, this is a significant win for women in Saudia Arabia, as well as all over the world. Hopefully, it will lead to a domino effect of reforms.
Women who are caught driving in Saudi Arabia are arrested for defying the ban and encouraging other women to join them.
According to the New York Times, some female activists have even been fired from their jobs for driving. It doesn't matter to their employers that they are usually driving because they need to get to work.
Not being allowed to drive makes it even more difficult than it already is for women to enter the workforce. If a woman cannot find a male relative to drive her to work, she must take a cab, further depleting the already unequal wages she is earning.
This ban has been a clear human rights violation meant to stifle women's autonomy in the region.
It has worked systemically in tandem with mandatory male guardianship to prevent women from having opportunities to pursue their careers and to live independently.
We're elated to see the ban lifted. Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to take much more control over their own lives. But there's still a long road ahead to eradicate the widespread oppression they continue to face. So let's continue to uplift female Saudi activist voices and fight for equal rights everywhere.