You may not have heard the news, but women in Saudi Arabia were recently granted the right to drive.

To put this in perspective, until 2015 they weren’t even allowed to vote.

Here in the West we take it for granted that men and women share the same rights.

In a male-dominated Arabic world things are a little different.

To celebrate the historic decision, Nissan offered a group of young women the chance to get behind the wheel for the first time.

What they neglected to tell them — with hilarious results — is that their instructors for the day would be their husbands, fathers and brothers.

Nissan Saudi Arabia Supports Training Women Drivers Photo 3The company has released an inspirational video documenting the experience.

The women in the video say that while they’re delighted by the prospect of learning to drive, they face reluctance from some family members.

To help overcome this, Nissan invited aspiring female motorists to hone their driving skills and build confidence on a closed driving course, with a plot twist — instead of professional instructors, the women were met by their respective husbands, fathers and brothers who were their teachers for the day.

“2018 is earmarked to be a pivotal moment in history for women in the kingdom,” Nissan’s chief operating officer in Saudi Arabia, Bader Al Houssami, said.

“We wanted to launch a campaign that’s just as emotional as it’s innovative, which ultimately is at the heart of what we at Nissan strive to achieve.

“The #SheDrives campaign aims to motivate women all over Saudi Arabia with a clear message: when the time comes, the decision to drive will be entirely yours.”

Nissan Saudi Arabia invites viewers to share their reactions to the video and their messages of support by using the hashtag #SheDrives.



Women take control in Saudi Arabia


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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