Women's rights in Saudi Arabia

Protesters hold signs with images of Saudi journalists on them

International community has ‘failed’ in the aftermath of Khashoggi’s death


Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and death brought unwanted attention to the Saudi regime. It has also challenged world leadership to take a stand for human rights, press freedoms and rule of law — a responsibility that has been largely shirked on this grim anniversary.

Saudi women gather at a job fair in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia grants women permission to apply for passports

Women at the Corniche in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

How rising numbers of Gulf women are escaping abuse to seek asylum

A Troubled Kingdom
Sharia Walker heads home after a long day at work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi women can drive. But gender equality isn’t yet ‘mainstream.’

A Troubled Kingdom
Three women in Saudi Arabia wearing black.

Controversial Saudi app that allows male guardians to track their wives may actually help some women escape

Saudi woman dressed in black robe walks behind a man wearing all white.

‘Niqab under my foot’ — Saudi women step on veils in online protest

Women & Gender

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that women were not required to wear abayas. But women say that in practice nothing has changed, and demanded more freedom.

a woman driver in saudi arabia

Saudi women can drive, but are their voices being heard?


At this juncture, reforms in women’s rights demonstrate that the kingdom is en route to modernizing. However, some of the actions of Saudi authorities — such as the arrest of prominent women’s rights activists — are seemingly at odds with the image the reforms want to project.

Saudi women attend the opening of a cinema at Riyadh Park mall, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 30, 2018.

Saudi Arabia loosened some of its strict social rules, but intimidation of activists continues

In the past few months, Saudi Arabia has seen some of the most drastic social changes in its history. But the rejoicing has been short-lived. A number of recent arrests has raised alarms for many Saudis.


The driving ban is being lifted, but Saudi Arabia continues crackdown on activists

“It’s an act to stifle any kind of mobilization in Saudi Arabia that comes from the grassroots level,” said Madawi al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

Students at the all-female Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia participate in a driving skills workshop run by Ford.

Will Saudi women drive once ban is lifted? US car companies want to find out.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a decree last year that lifted a decades-old ban on women driving in the Kingdom. The announcement caught many — including auto manufacturers — by surprise.