- The ambassador in Spain. "Women have no limitations in Saudi Arabia"
- Saudi Arabia.The most sex segregated country in the world
The 27-year-old Saudi racing driver Reema Juffali has made history this Friday by becoming the first woman to compete under a VIP status in a race in Saudi Arabia. The event took place months after the women of that country, after several years of struggle, forced the absolute monarchy to lift the prohibition of driving without the consent of a male authority .
Juffali competed at the wheel of a Jaguar I-PACE e-TROPHY rolling down the track of the urban circuit of Riyadh, in the town of Diriyá, during the first round of the championship, completing his fastest lap in 1:39 minutes, a little more five seconds of the first classified, after leaving from the back of the grid. "Seeing me in a racing car is a surprise to many people, but I am happy to surprise them. Many people are surprised by all the changes that occur in Saudi Arabia," the pilot said after the race, as they have reported in the newspaper Saudi Arab News .
For his part, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al Faisal , president of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, stressed that Juffali's participation is a decisive event for the country. So much so, that several representatives of the Saudi Government itself, as well as other countries, did not want to miss the appointment, which included, among others, the former Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi .
While it is true that this is the first time that a woman participates in a car race in Saudi Arabia, it was not the first time that Juffali was at the wheel of a steering wheel to ride a circuit. In April he already did, but this time to compete, the British F4 Championship held in Brands Hatch, England. "I am very excited, I never thought this day would come, or at least I did not know when and it arrived much earlier than expected. I have been running professionally for a year and here I am now about to do it at home, which is an incredible feeling "said Reema Juffali, a native of Yedá (west of the country) and educated in the United States, just before the test began.
"A face wash operation"
On June 24, 2018, hundreds of Saudi women were able to sit behind the wheel for the first time without risk of being arrested. The lifting of the ban, approved by the Government of Saudi Arabia almost a year earlier, was an important milestone for activists who since 1990 had made this claim a flag in a country where women have undergone male guardianship since Born until he dies
The measure that allowed women to be led was framed in a supposed reformist program with which the Saudi authorities tried to involve the appointment of the young Mohamed bin Salman as crown prince in 2017, showing the world a certain opening.
Other timid reforms approved in 2018 such as the authorization for women to start their own business, rent a home without permission from their guardian and aspire to obtain custody of their children in case of divorce, are interpreted by Human Rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) as "a face-lift operation" of Saudi absolute monarchy.
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