Saudi Princess promises more women's rights

Saudi top female official says kingdom is working to address deeper issues on the path to women's rights.

Ben Ariel ,

Muslim woman
Muslim woman

Saudi Arabia is working to address deeper issues on the path to women's rights after allowing them to drive and attend soccer matches, one of the kingdom's top female officials said Wednesday, according to AFP.

"These are things that are quick wins, we know we can do them, women in stadium, women driving, that's great, but women driving is not the end all, be all of women's rights," Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud was quoted as having told the Atlantic Council in Washington.

As part of a wide-ranging social and economic reform initiative in the face of fallen oil revenue, King Salman announced in September that Saudi women would be allowed to drive from June this year.

The kingdom, the world's only country where women are not allowed behind the wheel, later announced another reform, allowing women into stadiums to watch soccer matches for the first time in January.

The reforms are an initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has been leading a major drive to modernize Saudi society and boost the economy since his sudden appointment on June 21.

The Crown Prince recently pledged the country would return to a "moderate and open" approach.

Saud, a vice-president at the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, said on Wednesday deeper issues are still being worked on including "a woman feeling safe in her home" and having any career path open to her in a traditionally male-dominated society.

"Those are things that will be more dynamic in moving the conversation for women's rights than just getting her driving," said Saud, who in 2016 became the first woman named to a senior post in the Authority, which is the equivalent of a ministry.

"Domestic violence is so critical. I promise you we really are working on it," she added, according to AFP.