In September 2017, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a royal order granting women their right to drive. The ban on women driving will soon be history.
However, this hasn’t gone down well with some men. Some have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the change in law. They’ve been using an Arabic hashtag to do so, that translates as: “You won’t drive”. The hashtag only went viral when women used it to hit back and give a befitting response to this sexist mindset.
Women giving it back ‘the troll way’
Some men expressed their disappointment with the idea of women driving, on Twitter. Here are a couple of them:
ارى ان"اكثر"من ينبح لقيادة المرأة
في"برامج التلفزيون"هو من كانت جذورة من الفلبين ودول شرق آسياء..
احب اوجه لهم رسالة..
ان كان "اصولكم" تدعوكم للانفتاح
فان اصولنا "قبلية" تمتد جذورها لآلاف السنين
ولن تستطيع بنباحك تغير مبادئنا
المرأة لن تخرج الا بمحرم
— محمد جاري الشمراني (@mohammed_jari_m) May 14, 2018
Translation : “I see that most of those barking in favor of women driving on TV programs are people who are originally from the Philippines or Asian countries. I’d like to send them a message. If your roots allow for you to be open-minded, our tribal roots go back thousands of years. Your calls will never change our principles. A woman will not leave her house without a male guardian”.
Women mocked the sexist men with their hilarious tweets. Lots of them posted funny pictures and GIFs to accompany their response to the hashtag. Some posted a picture of their dream car and some expressed the seriousness of the issue. Have a look at some responses:
Men in #KSA are using this disgusting hashtag to threaten women who might even think of driving when the ban on female drivers will be lifted.
What good is granting women rights if they can't exercise them in safety? @WCFSW
— Sarah Al-Otaibi (@SarahAlOxoxo) May 14, 2018
Saudi women are getting ready to get behind the wheel, taking driving lessons and preparing to hit the road.
Winds of change
Saudi Arabia is considered as one of the most regressive countries in the world for women. However, the Saudi Kingdom is slowly working towards attaining gender equality. In 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrated its first ever Women’s Day, in the country’s capital, Riyadh.
In January, women entered a football stadium for the first time. On April 10, for the first time, the country held a women’s cycling race. Women cyclists participated in the race organised in the city of Jeddah. The female cyclists not only surprised the conservative nation but also the world of social media.The same month, Saudi Kingdom organised its first Arab Fashion Week in the capital city of Riyadh.
The kingdom also held its first cinema screening in decades.
This month, Careem, a leading ride-hailing firm (cab service) in the Middle East, appointed its first female driver.
The driving ban lift is one of many changes brought in by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in recent years. Any step taken to give women their rights and make the world a more just and equal place is always an honourable one. Good going Saudi Kingdom!
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV