Saudi Women Driving Forward, But Not Behind The Wheel Yet

dr._reem_maghrabi.jpgSusan notes: a hopeful Huffington Post article by Sally Thorner...

It's not about abayas.
It's not about education.
It's not about employment.
It's not even about voting...

The women I talked with in Riyadh last week have adapted and believe change is coming. But they've hit a glass ceiling. Or, more accurately, a roadblock.

My first morning in Riyadh was spent in King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. While my husband met with fellow doctors, I interviewed one of their few female colleagues (the disparity has decreased and is now only 4 to 1 male to female.)

Dr. Reem Maghrabi is sans abaya. She is an infectious disease fellow and chief resident in the most prestigious private hospital in the Kingdom where ALL doctors don lab coats. This makes it easier to do her job, and besides, she tells me her family never enforced the veil at home in Taif.

"The abaya is about religion and culture," she explains. Neither has a place in the ICU. In fact it was her father who pushed her into medicine. As the eldest child she is living his dream. At 30, Reem represents a new generation of Saudi women who are taking advantage of change.

"People are more accepting," she says. "From the top down, and the bottom up. We are so proud of King Abdullah. Because of him, the population is more open. "

Click here to read the full story:
By Sally Thorner
The Huffington Post

Photo Credit: The Huffington Post