If Saudi Arabia is on your list of places to see this year, note that as a woman, you might actually be allowed–for the first time ever–to drive a car. Well, that might actually only be true if you are a Saudi citizen. I assume that if you got your driver’s license elsewhere, they wouldn’t put you in jail for actually using it there. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries, when it comes to separation of gender roles outside the home. An unaccompanied woman, for example, must shop behind curtains and cannot hail a taxi.
Needless to say, talking about something as progressive as allowing women to drive is already raising concerns. A woman would have to remove the traditional abaya robe to get a clear view behind the wheel. “Allowing women to drive will only bring sin,” a letter to Al-Watan newspaper declared last year, according to the Telegraph. “The evils it would bring – mixing between the genders, temptations, and tarnishing the reputation of devout Muslim women – outweigh the benefits.”
Folks, if you must go to Saudi Arabia, I suggest you take public transport.