Free to Drive, Saudi Women Still Must Take a Back Seat to Men

Jun 22, 2018

By Margaret Coker

With her bubble-gum pink hair and stylishly ripped jeans, Doaa Bassem goes a long way to redefining what it means to be a Saudi woman these days.

At age 14, she learned how to change the oil of her father’s car and dreamed of owning a classic Trans Am. Although she assumed she would be barred from driving the sleek, loud muscle car, she wanted the fun of taking the engine apart and rebuilding it.

By 17, she had entered into an arranged marriage. Within a year, she had given birth to a child, divorced, then remarried and divorced again.

Now, at 29, she is a single mother who works, lives on her own and plans to be among the first women who take to the streets on Sunday, the first day they will be legally permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy that is the last country in the world to bar women from driving. Ms. Bassem won’t be behind the wheel of a sports car, though. She will be riding a Harley.

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2 comments on “Free to Drive, Saudi Women Still Must Take a Back Seat to Men

  • @OP – She will be riding a Harley.

    There will probably be more Harley’s exported to Saudi Arabia, since Trump motivated Europe to put retaliatory tariffs on any sold in European dealerships.

  • @#1 – It must be the scientist in me making predictions! 🙂

    I see the “clever Trump” is busy losing some Americans their jobs as the work is transferred to overseas production facilities!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44604280

    Harley-Davidson plans to shift some motorcycle production away from the US to avoid the “substantial” burden of European Union tariffs.

    Last week, the EU imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods, including bourbon, orange juice and motorcycles.

    Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson has assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand.

    The firm’s decision is one of the most visible consequences of the trade disputes triggered by US President Donald Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on steel and aluminium.

    The tariffs, which Mr Trump says are necessary to maintain national security, have drawn retaliation from the EU, Canada, Mexico, India and others, while driving up the cost of metals for manufacturers in the US.

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