Opinion and Editorial
Logo
 

Saudi women can now hope for more reforms

Filed on September 27, 2017 | Last updated on September 27, 2017 at 08.55 pm

This step could have positive trickle down effects on the economy with more women coming out not just to drive but also to work.


The landmark decision by the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, to allow women to drive comes as a boost for women's rights in the Kingdom. It was inevitable but 'when' was the question on many minds. Now that the change has happened earlier than expected, there is all-round praise. It is clear that Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab world, is witnessing tectonic changes in society, which many consider deeply conservative and rigid. Credit for ushering in these reforms must go to the King and the dynamic Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. It was the right time and right course to take. The change has come from within the country which is at a critical point in its history where it confronted with social, economic, strategic and political challenges. This decree was based on collective conscience - women are strong, they deserve to enjoy the same rights as men and must be allowed to take major decisions for themselves. Societies progress when individual rights are respected, and Saudi society is moving to a new era in a hurry, which is remarkable.

This step could have positive trickle down effects on the economy with more women coming out not just to drive but also to work. The country's task to wean itself of foreign labour is headed in the right direction; this move could also help kickstart the social reform process. Religious scholars have given their consent to these shifts, and it is important for the Kingdom to continue what it has begun. Saudi Arabia's economic vision for 2030 will be futile without a larger role for women. Female labour participation rate is currently around 20 per cent - among the lowest in the world. A rise in this figure could also help power the GDP. Are these measures enough? No. Saudi women still have a long way to go. The process will take time and the leadership has shown it is willing to take the plunge at the opportune moment. Consultations with all sections of society and patience is key. The best is yet to be.

 





ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Opinion and Editorial
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /editorials-columns/the-uae-leads-the-way-in-upholding-childrens-rights- macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1098,1000 macro_adspot:
 
 
-->
 
 
 
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery