First women’s cycling race in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia held its first ever women’s cycling race on April 10. It was a 10 km (6 miles) race, and 47 women took part. The race was held in Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital Riyadh.

Women don’t have the same rights as men in Saudi Arabia. There are a bunch of cannot do’s for women. However, the country has been making changes in recent years. Infact, women’s cycling was legalized in the country in 2013. Women are allowed to bike only in parks or on beaches when a male guardian is present.

In recent years, there have been many firsts for women in the country. Women took part in the Olympic Games (starting 2012). They voted and stood in the local election (starting 2015). Women went into a sports stadium (starting 2017). Positions have opened up for women in the military (starting 2018). Women took part in a running race (starting 2018). Women will be able to drive in the country (starting June this year).

On the other hand, most women still cannot leave the country, get a job, marry, or divorce without the permission of their male guardian (who is their father, husband, brother, or son). When Saudi women go outside their homes, they are required to wear a hijab and an abaya.

Image Credits: https://www.academy.com for the image of the bike
Sources: http://english.alarabiya.net, https://www.worldatlas.com, Newsweek