Another first for women’s rights in the Kingdom

The first all-women’s go-karting race final was held in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Ten contestants competed for prizes worth over $2,500 in Jeddah. The event was heralded as the first event of its kind in the Kingdom.

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Saudi national Amjad al-Umry was crowned the winner. Al-Umry is a mechanical engineering student at King Faisal University,

She was understandably excited about winning and paid tribute to her competitors. “The competition was really high. I’m really happy to have competed with women at such a high level,” she said.

 

“This tournament is the beginning of the future of motorsports for women in the Kingdom in line with the direction of the General Authority for Sports and its support of women’s sports,” Aseel al-Hamad, the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation added.

Saudi Arabia has marked a number of milestones for women’s rights over the past year, symbolising a new era for the kingdom.

In November, KSA appointed its first female speaker in its national council and a month later, opened its elections and candidates to women.

In June, the ban on women driving, which had been in place since 1957, came into effect.

 

Saudi’s ambassador to the US, Prince Khaled bin Salman,  heralded the milestone, calling it “a historic and big day” and “the right decision at the right time”, according to the BBC.

“I think our leadership understands our society is ready,” the ambassador told The Guardian when the ban was lifted, adding that women will not need a male guardian in the vehicle when they drive.

Mabrouk!

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Main image: Getty