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Saudi man remains the boss

RIYADH – It was a bizarre display, earlier this month in a luxury hotel in the Saudi Jedda. During a fashion show were not models on the catwalk, but were drones to the expensive dresses through the hall to fly.

A Saudi gets a driving lesson in a simulator. They pay five times as much as a man.

The epitome of preutsheid and according to critics it is another proof that the country still has a long way to go before women enjoy equal legal rights. They may from Sunday while for the first time, driving a car, but in almost all others areas, the men are still firmly behind the wheel. The society continues to be far behind the reforms that the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, too. Age-old social and religious traditions are difficult in a short time to eliminate. Even some of the women find that the changes go too fast. The authorities must take into account the feelings in the country. So it was that earlier this week the head of the new Entertainment Authority by the king dismissed, because the female acrobats of the Russian circus in the country in tight packs had occurred.

However, there is a small revolution. The ban on driving was for decades the symbol of the oppression of women. A conservative minister who believes that women that, due to their ’small brain’ is still not behind the wheel may sit up now linea recta in the prison. But the same is true for activists who have long time working for women’s rights. Reforms are good, as long as it be imposed from above. Others should not with the honor of ironing, because that would be the population only, but the idea that they are changes will be able to enforce.

There prevails among the women in the country a sense of both optimism as uncertainty. There is going to be from Sunday, literally a world open to them: the heat, long distances and limited public transport a car is often the only way to get somewhere. But now the government can, does not mean that that is also tolerated by the family or the imam. Therefore, many women are still reluctant as to whether they were a driver’s license. They are afraid for the reactions from the environment, and fear on the streets to be harassed by men. Their driving lessons are also five times as expensive as that for men.

The crown prince understands that his country needs to modernise, especially if it is in the coming years less and less on oil revenues can count. According to some estimates supplies the driving for women, who suddenly independently to their work, in the coming years to 90 billion dollars in additional revenue. Now even jobs for the women, because the number of occupations that a woman can perform is still limited. They may also not even get myself to open a bank account.

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