After Saudi Arabia lifted the ban from women driving without a male guardian, Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah al-Saud recently shot June edition Vogue cover in which she is in the driver’s seat wearing leather gloves and high heels. Vogue issue praised the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for bringing in the amendment and did a story on “trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia”.

The princess told the magazine, “In our country, there are some conservatives who fear change. For many, it’s all they have known.”

“Personally, I support these changes with great enthusiasm,” added the princess, who shot for the cover in the desert outside the western city of Jeddah.

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However, since the cover came out, it is garnering criticism from Saudi activists who are protesting the arrest of around 11 activists. The rights group has identified as veteran women campaigners fighting for the right to drive and to end Saudi’s male guardianship system.

Saudi Police released four activists last week, reported Amnesty International but others still remain in imprisonment.

A Saudi-American activist Nora Abdulkarim tweeted, “After @VogueArabia thought it’d make sense to feature HRH (her royal highness) in June 2018 issue on ‘trailblazing women of #Saudi Arabia’…  Saudi women have taken to Twitter to object & replaced her image with 3 of arrested activists labelled as ‘traitors’.”

Since the cover came out, it is garnering criticism from Saudi activists who are protesting the arrest of around 11 activists. The rights group has identified as veteran women campaigners fighting for the right to drive and to end Saudi’s male guardianship system.

A Middle East Based Reporter, Bethan MCKernan wrote, “You’ve got to be kidding me. A princess graces the cover of next month’s Vogue Arabia while @azizayousef @Saudiwoman @LoujainHathloul and other activist women who have worked tirelessly to lift driving ban languish in jail.”

Critics are saying that the outrage is defining the limits of reforms brought by the crown prince. Prince Salman also went on a world tour recently to reshape Saudi’s conservative image.

The orthodox Kingdom will remove its ban on women driving cars on June 24. The Vogue issue also talks to other “inspirational” Saudi women, including women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif and Saja Kamal, a footballer working to establish the kingdom’s first women’s team.

Picture credit- Dawn

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