Progress for women in Saudi Arabia?

24 June 2018, an important day in the history of Saudi Arabia, leastwise according to various women’s rights activists. On that day, the Kingdom would no longer be the only country on the planet to prevent women from driving. The unexpected decision has been praised by human rights activists across the globe. But it is time to look at the bigger picture.

After years of struggling against gender discrimination, women can finally take place in the driver’s seat. But do not count your chickens before they hatch. Most people who stood up for women’s rights received substantial prison sentences. Their ideas and plans to create progress on the importance of women’s rights are still not being heard by the regime. On the contrary, every woman in SaudiArabia is still under the custody of a man. That guardian has the power to make important decisions in a woman’s  life. They can now also easily get a job or participate in social activities such as attending concerts or theatres, at least if they get permission. �

But despite this, Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia who is responsible for lifting the ban, receives alot of praise from all corners of the world. If even Donald Trump starts to congratulate him, we must begin to wonder what the hidden agenda of this action is.

The fact that women are allowed to drive fits perfectly within a larger plan to stimulate the national economy of Saudi-Arabia. Female drivers should be encouraged to participate in economic activities. It is all part of ‘Vision 2030’, a long-term vision for the Saudi economy. But the Crown Prince Bin Salman also benefits from the action. It is comparable to personal propaganda, he uses women’s right to gain support. Firstly from the citizens of Saudi Arabia, but also from the outside world.

In other words, the action is part of an economic movement and is a PR stunt by the crown prince. This can be confirmed by the fact that no women’s rights activists were involved during the transition.

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