Saudi Women Hope For Greater Rights In 2015
Saudi Arabian women’s headline-grabbing 2011 driving protests were a seminal moment for women’s rights in this ultraconservative Muslim country. Next year, they’ll finally get to taste the fruits of that activism — though not quite in the way they were shooting for.
The protests, which featured dozens of women taking cars out for a spin and sharing videos or images of their civil disobedience on social media, didn’t earn women the right to get behind the wheel. But close watchers of Saudi Arabia’s internal politics believe that the driving incidents are a reason why Saudi King Abdullah and his government gave in on another front — political participation. In the municipal elections slated for next year, Saudi women will get the chance to vote and run for office for the very first time. And while experts predict that their franchise will have little effect on the day-to-day realities in the kingdom, most believe it’s a very big deal for women themselves, if only as a step in the gradual softening of gender-based restrictions that bar Saudi women from virtually all elements of public life.
We invite our users to read the full article published December 12 2014