For the first time in the Kingdom’s history, Saudi women will finally be able to drive today. The entire nation has been preparing for and anticipating this day. Now, on this momentous day, here are 5 things that are happening around the country.
1. Women parking spots are now a thing
A Reddit user posted an image of new parking spots that were installed in Al-Salam Mall in Jeddah ahead of today’s event.
This new practice is common in countries such as Kuwait and China, and often touted as a safety precaution for women. Expect to see this implemented across the Kingdom in major public spaces.
2. Traffic ads are now addressed to both men and women
A government awareness ad warning both male and female drivers that texting and driving could cost their lives. Image: Reddit
An image taken by a Saudi citizen is circulating social media. The image depicts one of the first government traffic ads to officially address and acknowledge women as drivers in the country.
This is a telling sign of what’s to come. Expect to see much more road and traffic advertising and more PAs including women in their target audience.
3. Women and family groups will now be able to request female Careem drivers
Female Careem drivers, or “Captinahs”, will now be available for hire by female customers and family groups. This is in keeping with moral standards in the country, which still tread a fine line in interaction between female and male parties.
4. Crashed your car? A female investigator will look into your accident
The Saudi Gazette recently reported that the General Directorate of Traffic and Najm for Insurance Services Company celebrated on Thursday the graduation of the first batch of 40 women investigators to handle and manage traffic accidents.
They believe that the integration of women into administrative jobs relating to traffic will help ease their acceptance as drivers and active members of the society.
5. Anyone ridiculing women’s new rights could be prosecuted
A few months ago, Minister of Information Awwad Al-Awwad came out with a statement calling for the incrimination of anyone who might abuse women empowerment, according to the Saudi Gazette.
The reasoning behind this statement is that anyone opposing women’s new rights is basically opposing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s decrees, which is a clear defiance of government decree.