Who doesn’t love a society that modernizes with time? Saudi Arabia on that note are trying to make the world believe that their recent progress is their biggest strength. Highlighting on the country’s progressive image even since, Mohammed bin Salman became the Crown Prince, the world’s view has changed over and about the country.
The big decision allowing the women to drive, enter the sports stadium, and even go to a movie hall are working as a cherry on the cake, but is the inside-out life the same as the people in the west assume it?
Women issues have always been the greatest problem for Saudi Arabia and as the reality strikes, the problem only continue to multiply. In today’s world interacting with men should not be a big ask, but for Saudi Arabia this issue is a major concern. Conversations and the time spent with men who are not part of a family, is limited. From restaurants, universities and public areas each space reserves a section for family or individually for men. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s friend and ally United Arab Emirates, whose progressive image is measured in terms of skyscrapers, does not allow sleeping with partner, sharing a hotel room and holding hands in the public.
The ideology behind the concept totally clashes with the idea of how modernization actually works in this part of the world. While we do not deny the efforts taken by Saudi Arabia, the philosophies to not even allow women to marry by choice, open a bank account, travel and dress how she wants to, remain allied to the so called efforts taken by the Kingdom.
In addition, even Starbucks in Saudi Arabia banned women from entering, placing a message outside the outlet “Please no entry for ladies and only send your driver to order”. Also, the recent incident, where two men burned the Saudi Woman car, showcases the male supremacy, proving how daily life is filled with struggles for women in the kingdom. However, if anything can be done to make sure that Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain dignity, it must be the real time implementation of the modernized policies.
While comparing to the western world would be a far-fetched dream, Saudi and UAE can learn from its neighboring ally Qatar. The Country’s modernization plans lay emphasis on the personal life, giving women the full opportunity to express herself, yet obey what the law states. Interestingly, Qatar is a tiny gulf nation, but it has made sure that equal openings are given to both the males and the females in the society.
Therefore, the efforts taken by MBS in Saudi Arabia further need to bend in the right direction, which would ensure the prosperous growth of the nation.