For the longest time, women in Saudi Arabia were restricted from doing what men were able to do freely. And one of the most pressing issues was driving. In the last months of 2017, the country announced that they will be ending this regulation, and that women will soon have the right to drive cars around the country. Nonetheless, it’s regrettable that there had been years of delay. Still, it is better than never.
According to Automotive News, shortly after the change was announced, it became apparent that it wasn’t at all difficult for automakers to lure women to go inside dealerships and purchase their very first cars. In fact, Saudi Arabia has opened their first all-female exclusive dealership in the city of Jeddah.
Some of you may wonder why an exclusively female dealership is needed, and why they cannot just buy cars from any dealership in the country. This is because the country still practises segregation between males and females. It has been like that ever since, and it seems like this ruling won’t change anytime soon. While there is progress, the women’s evolving status in the extremely conservative country won’t come that easily. In fact, the dealership was even opened in a mall that is solely run by women too, located in the western Red Sea.
Furthermore, even if Saudi Arabian women can already buy their cars as early as now, they will not be able to drive just yet. Yes, the ban was lifted a year ago, but it will not be effective until June this year, so they will have to be a little patient about this. Saudi Arabia is actually the last country in the world to allow women to drive. This rule was implemented so that the country could build a better infrastructure for men and women to coexist. Again, this June, the country will have to be able to ease Saudi Arabian men into dealing with women driving on the road. For now, women can check out cars in this newest dealership. But because it is a women-only dealership, do not expect to see men around the showroom.
Well, after three decades of not allowing women to drive in their country, mainly because of religious reasons, we should be happy that King Salman has finally lifted the ban. The showroom will be offering a wide selection of vehicles for women to choose from, though this may not carry every single car brand or model available in the country. The private company that opened this car dealership has long term plans of opening more automobile showrooms for women in the oil-rich kingdom.