News, Politics

Women In Saudi Arabia Now Allowed To Drive

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff showing a street sign with the slogan #women2drive
This political cartoon by Carlos Latuff is entitled “New Saudi Arabia traffic sign.” The cartoon was created in 2011, before the new law allowing Saudi women to drive, came into effect.

Women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to drive.

For nearly 30 years, there has been a law in Saudi Arabia that said women could not drive a vehicle.

Many women and men protested the law. They said it was outdated and sexist. (“Sexist” means that it is bad because it is against one gender and not others).

Saudi women often had to hire a driver in order to get from one place to another, if there was no male available to drive them.

Some of the people who protested the law were put in jail last month. This includes some very brave women, who filmed themselves driving even though it was against the law.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia changed the law because he says he wants to make the country more modern. It is part of a program he calls Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that still had the sexist law.

Although they can now drive, there are still many other restrictions on the rights of women in Saudi Arabia. They must still dress a certain way and they must have a “male guardian” accompany them to doctor’s appointments or when they are travelling (or have their written permission).

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Most people would agree that it is wrong to break the law; however, today’s article explains that several women filmed themselves breaking the law in order to bring attention and challenge a law they didn’t believe in.Should the consequences for breaking the law still apply to these women? When is it ok to break the law? Who decides? 

Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia changed the law because he says he wants to make the country more modern. 

Read and reread this sentence.
What do you think is the definition of the word, “modern.”

Junior & Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including:syntactic (language structure) cues (e.g., word order, language patterns, punctuation)(OME, Reading: 3.2).

Language Feature: “Bin” or “Bint”
In the Arabic naming system, “Bin” and “Bint” are included to say “son of,” or “daughter of.” For this reason, “Mohammed bin Salman” translates to “Mohammed, son of Salman.”

Write your own Arabic name and 3 friends’.