STATES CHRONICLE – Saudi Arabia has recently recorded a historic moment. Women received permission to break one religious ban and become drivers. The decision is part of the kingdom’s reform agenda. This victory of Saudi women might be just the starting point of a new political era.
Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman intends to guide his country toward an independent economy that can free itself from the domination of the energy sector. His ongoing Vision 2030 program regards this change as a crucial economic benefit that can lend a Western fabric to Muslim-majority countries.
The New Decree Is Likely to Allow Saudi Women to Drive by Next Summer
Once behind the wheels, women will represent a driving force for the local economy. They will enjoy the necessary mobility to support a higher rate of labor participation. As a consequence, the employment market will quickly escalate.
At the moment, women’s presence makes up for only 20.1% of the workplace in Saudi Arabia. Studies showed that female students are encompassing male’s performance within the Saudi educational environment. Therefore, the Saudi women constitute a valuable human capital. However, the kingdom hasn’t unlocked this great potential yet.
Riyadh’s recent decree that allows women to become drivers will come into effect by next summer. Becoming active in the labor market will make women a new economic benefit for the national income.
Females will become a stronger group of consumers which is a welcome encouragement to local businesses. Gaining access to a wider control of their own schedule can also constitute a major reason to start their own business.
Saudi Arabia Has a Long List of Religious, Political, Social Hurdles to Overcome Before It Can Fully Instate Gender Equality
One thing is for sure. Saudi women are currently enjoying great support thanks to Saudi Arabia’s new drive for economic diversification. On the other hand, their cultural, religious, social, and historical background cannot change overnight.
The fair sex will still be subjected to extensive interdictions. Some of these limits that impair their potential as social and economic agents are restrictions regarding traveling, financial access, unequal property, and lack of inheritance rights.
Gender equality is not a yet a value that Muslim-majority countries praise at the moment. However, this liberal view can influence economics in the right direction. Nonetheless, the kingdom is still miles away from allowing women enjoy same rights as men do.
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