Congratulations to the women of Saudi Arabia!
It’s fantastic to see that there’s been some amazing development within the United Arab Emirates. Under the new law in Saudi Arabia, women can now legally obtain a driving licence without asking a male guardian for permission.
This is a massive step forward for these women, in terms of basic rights. In 2013, women in Saudi Arabia were arrested for simply being behind the wheel which, to me seems somewhat unorthodox to a 22 year old female racing driver living in the UK, with dreams of competing at a professional level in Motorsport. In some ways, I can relate to that feeling of being marginalized though, especially as a female racing driver, where even today, it can be hard to be regarded as competitive, or even better than some of our male counterparts.
At 17 years old, I obtained my provisional licence and then went on to pick up my full UK driving licence at 18 years old. Way before then, at 14 years old I had a racing licence.
To think, up until now women in Saudi Arabia never had the luxury and the freedom to simply get in a vehicle and drive themselves somewhere. It is difficult to comprehend, given the freedom we have and can all too often take for granted. I depend on my wheels! From my 30 mile daily commute to work and back; to flying around iconic race tracks the length and breadth of the UK at up to 140mph!!
Sheikh Khaled al Mosleh tweeted, “Allowing women to drive answered the needs of a big portion of the population.”
This is a huge change for the Saudi society. Can you imagine being an Ambassador and mentor to the first Saudi female racing driver? Now there’s a thought…
Image Credit: Marwan Naamani/AFP/ Getty Images