UP to 200 cars driven by Bahraini and Saudi women crossed the King Fahad Causeway yesterday as the ban on women driving in neighbouring Saudi Arabia was lifted.
Well-placed sources told the GDN that the estimated figure included women from Bahrain driving to Saudi Arabia and vice versa as people celebrated the historic day.
Saudi women, who took to the wheel for the first time ever yesterday, were welcomed on the roads by traffic police distributing bouquets of flowers along with leaflets containing safety tips.
In celebration of the ban being lifted, more than 30 women from Bahrain met nearly 40 women from Saudi Arabia yesterday to celebrate the milestone.
The trip was organised by Yalla Banat, a Bahrain-based initiative focused on women empowerment in the region.
“The Saudi women with us have witnessed a major change in their daily lives and a change that will impact the way they think, expand their dimensions and just allow them to be independent,” said 29-year-old Bahraini Fatima Ebrahim, who is a member of Yalla Banat.
“That change has led to beautiful, surreal and grateful responses, you could see not only women but men also congratulating women on the road and that diversity is achieved so simply.
“We have had responses of how this revolutionary moment will allow them to unleash their potential, confidence and expand their reach to other women in the GCC and pave the way to connect more and contribute to Saudi Arabia and the Mena region as a whole.
“This isn’t just about lifting a ban, it’s about lifting a veil that is limiting the potential of Saudi women, half the population of Saudi, and imagine the impact of both coming together in full equality.”
Ms Ebrahim is also a board member of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and the country manager of Action Global Communications.
Yalla Banat will also be conducting training courses in driving in co-ordination with some of the universities in Jeddah and Riyadh in September.