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10 Incredible Strides Made For And By Women In Saudi Arabia In 2017

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If this year’s been one thing, it has been empowering – especially for the women in Saudi Arabia.

Huge reforms have taken place and while a lot more are to come, it’s time to take a look back at just some of the incredible reforms that took place for the women in Saudi Arabia this year.

Here are just 10 of those amazing strides

1. Driving

It’s hard to have missed this one.

In September, King Salman bin Abdulaziz decided that women will now be allowed to drive, a decision that broke decades of tradition and took all of the internet by storm.

Driving licenses will be issued from June next year and the excitement is just too real – driving schools are opening, women traffic police are getting hired, and some women are already learning to drive.

2. The first all-women council is to be established

The first all-women city council is going to be established very soon in Madina and it is going to be all-things empowering.

Basically, it is going to have everything needed to support and advice women who are working or looking to work.

More of these please!

3. Women will be joining the police force

Women in Saudi Arabia will soon be able to serve the police force. As of now, they will be allowed tojoin the traffic department but we know this is just the beginning.

4. Women are now allowed in sports stadiums

Three major cities in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh) officially opened their doors to women and it has been incredible.

In fact, Riyadh’s King Fahad stadium welcomed crowds of Saudi families in high spirits as they waved thousands of flags in solidarity with this reform.

5. Speaking of sports, girls now have the right to participate in physical education at school

It was announced earlier this year that girls in public schools will now be allowed to participate in physical education(Private schools were already allowed to do so.)

46 women have already been trained to become PE supervisorsspread out in girls’ schools all over the country by the beginning of the academic year.

6. Jeddah also hosted the first all-women basketball tournament 

The first all-women basketball tournament of Saudi Arabia was held at Al-Jowhara Stadium in Jeddah earlier this year and everyone was just so exciting. 

What more, the tournament was organised to support their breast cancer awareness campaign. Double win. 

7. Plans to train the first female air-traffic controllers have been set in place

In an effort to increase the number of Saudi women in the workforce, the Kingdom will train women for positions as air traffic controllers.

This is part of Vision 2030 to increase women in the overall workforce from 23% to 28%.

8. AND pilot-training scholarships have been set up

First the streets, now the skies – there is going to be no stopping for women in the kingdom.

Saudia Airlines announced its plans to offer pilot-training scholarships for women in the kingdom.

9. A woman was appointed spokeswoman for the Saudi embassy in Washington DC

Fatima Baeshen was appointed as the first spokeswoman for Saudi’s embassy in Washington DC.

She was previously a director of the Think Arabia Foundation.

10. A Saudi woman joined NASA 

Mishaal Ashemimry because Saudi’s first woman to join NASAthis year.

She was congratulated by the US Central Command and the Saudi Ministry of Culture & Information for becoming such an inspiration to women (and men!) everywhere.

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