Saudi Arabia has long been known for its strict adherence to traditional forms of Islam, but recent years have seen significant progress in women’s rights. From the lifting of the ban on women driving to increased participation in politics and business, Saudi Arabia is making strides towards gender equality. This article will explore the progress being made for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, as well as the top 10 tourist attractions in the country.
The Progress of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia
For decades, women in Saudi Arabia had limited rights and freedoms, from the wearing of the abaya (a long, black cloak) to strict gender segregation. However, in recent years, the country has taken significant steps towards granting greater freedoms and rights to women.
One of the most significant changes came in 2018 when the driving ban on women was lifted. Prior to this, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive and had to rely on male relatives or paid drivers for transportation. At the time, the lifting of the ban was seen as a major shift in the country’s attitude towards women’s rights.
Participation in Politics and Business
Another area where women’s rights have been expanding in Saudi Arabia is in politics and business. In 2015, women were allowed to run and vote in municipal elections, and in 2019, women were allowed to travel abroad without the permission of a male guardian. Additionally, the country is actively trying to increase the number of women in the workforce, with a goal of reaching 30% by 2030.
Education is another key area where women’s rights have been expanding in Saudi Arabia. In recent years, more women have been enrolling in universities, and in 2019, women were allowed to study law and work in the field of family law. Additionally, the country has been investing in programs to support literacy and education for women, with a focus on improving access to education in rural areas.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Saudi Arabia
1. The Masmak Fortress
Located in Riyadh, the Masmak Fortress is a historic castle that played a key role in the unification of Saudi Arabia. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and features exhibits on the history of the country.
Al-Ula is a desert oasis located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia. It is home to the ancient city of Hegra, which was once an important stop on the trade route between the Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula.
3. Madain Saleh
Located in Al-Ula, Madain Saleh is an ancient city that was once home to the Nabataean civilization. It is best known for its well-preserved tombs and rock-carved monuments.
4. Mount Uhud
Located in Medina, Mount Uhud is a mountain that played a significant role in the early history of Islam. It is also home to a number of historic sites, including the Prophet’s Mosque and the Quba Mosque.
Located in Jeddah, Al-Balad is a historic district that features traditional architecture and narrow streets. It is also home to a number of ancient mosques and other historic sites.
6. Turaif District
Located in Riyadh, the Turaif District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features traditional mud-brick buildings and historic mosques.
7. The Red Sea Coast
The Red Sea Coast is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax on pristine beaches and enjoy water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
8. The Edge of the World
Located just outside of Riyadh, the Edge of the World is a stunning rock formation that offers panoramic views of the surrounding desert.
9. Wadi Hanifa
Wadi Hanifa is a beautiful park located in Riyadh that features a network of hiking trails, lush greenery, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
10. King Fahd Cultural Centre
The King Fahd Cultural Centre in Riyadh is a modern complex that features a range of cultural activities, including concerts, theater performances, and art exhibits.
Q: Is it safe to travel to Saudi Arabia as a woman?
A: While Saudi Arabia has made progress in women’s rights, there are still strict social norms and laws that apply to women. It is important for women to dress conservatively and be aware of local customs and laws. Additionally, solo female travelers may want to exercise caution and consider traveling with a group.
Q: What is the dress code for women in Saudi Arabia?
A: Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear an abaya in public, which is a long, black cloak that covers the entire body. Additionally, women are expected to dress conservatively and cover their hair.
Q: Can women travel alone in Saudi Arabia?
A: While women can travel alone in Saudi Arabia, it is important to be aware of local customs and laws. It may be safer and more comfortable for women to travel with a group or a local guide.
Q: Are there any restrictions on women’s movements in Saudi Arabia?
A: While women in Saudi Arabia have more freedoms than in the past, there are still some restrictions on their movements. For example, women may need permission from a male guardian to travel abroad or to marry.
Q: What are some cultural attractions in Saudi Arabia?
A: Saudi Arabia is home to a wide range of cultural attractions, from historic sites like the Masmak Fortress to modern cultural centers like the King Fahd Cultural Centre. Other cultural attractions include traditional markets, museums, and art galleries.