Saudi Arabia Has First Ever Women’s Day, And Feminists Everywhere Rejoice

by Leah Thomas

Saudi Arabia, ranked 134 out of 145 countries in the world for gender equality, just celebrated its first ever Women’s Day.

From February 1st to the 4th, a gathering was held in the nation’s capital of Riyadh at the King Fahd Cultural Center. Mohammed Al-Saif, the general supervisor of the center, outlined the purpose of the event by stating, “We want to celebrate the Saudi woman and her successful role, and remind people of her achievements in education, culture, medicine, literature and other areas.”

The three-day gathering featured speakers advocating for the expansion of women’s rights and women’s healthcare awareness. Among those speakers were Princess Al-Jawhara bint Fahd Al-Saud, who led a discussion about female education in the country, and Princess Adila bint Abdullah Al-Saud, who addressed the country’s heritage.

Although women were (finally) given the right to vote in 2015, Saudi Arabia is still the only nation in the world that does not allow women to drive or obtain a drivers’ license. Women are also legally obligated to have a male guardian – a father or brother to grant permission for her proposed life plans (i.e. school, work, marriage).

The event was intended for a female-only audience; however, outdoor activities were provided for husbands and children.

While the event may have thought to stir controversy and yield protests, Al-Saif claimed there were no efforts to end or challenge the gathering.

Yet another example of strong women enabling each other across the globe.

Top Photo: Youtube


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