In a ground-breaking step taken to uplift women’s rights by King Salman in 2017, women were finally given the opportunity to gain a driver’s license and to be able to drive in Saudi Arabia in June, 2018. After generations of struggles, protests, and revolutions, this was the first major step taken towards women’s rights, independence and gender equality in the country.
In a country where women were not allowed to drive till the previous year, there rose an inspirational personality for all other women- Reema Juffali. Where women were spending almost half of their salaries on mobility using taxis till 2018, 27 year-old Reema became the first female race car driver in the same year. This was only a few months after driving for women was legalised. She also made her debut in the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch, 2019.
Many a times, women are considered to be the property of men. Allowing them to drive will let them step out of their homes alone, without needing a man to drive them or accompany them everywhere they go. And by stepping into sports like motor car racing, women like Reema Juffali, at a very young age are bringing a historic change to the male dominated fields. This is a huge step forward in the global fight for women’s rights. However, due to the lack of opportunity earlier, most of Reema’s competitors on the field are half her age. In an interview, she said, “Time isn’t really on my side but I’m giving it all I’ve got and so far I’m happy with how it’s going.”
“It’s been an honour to represent my country, coming into racing later in life means I have a lot more ground to cover in comparison to the other drivers,” Northeastern University graduate, Reema Juffali told Al Arabiya English.