They have to be between ages 21 and 40 years old, with no criminal convictions and at least have a high school education.
This is another victory for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Now they are allowed to join the country’s military for the first time in history. This is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s attempts to “modernise” Saudi Arabia.
Women were previously not allowed to join the country’s army, navy, air force, missile force, and even medical services. Now they can join at all ranks between soldier and sergeant. They have to be between ages 21 and 40 years old, with no criminal convictions.
The aspiring female military must at least have a high school education and they should not be married to a non-Saudi citizen.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working on efforts to improve Saudi Arabia’s image internationally. Opening up job avenues that were previously closed to women is certainly one of those efforts.
His “Vision 2030” initiative aims to increase the amount of foreign investments in Saudi Arabia, which entails keeping up with modern countries around the world. For the first time, women are now being allowed to work in the service industry, including shops and coffee houses, and other professions.
Plans to allow women in the military was announced in 2019, which was the time when women were permitted to leave the country without having to get permission from a male relative. This move was hailed as a key step to putting an end to the guardianship system that has been criticized locally and worldwide.
The news is definitely a huge step towards equality for women, but Saudi Arabia still has a long way to go. There are still incidents that caused international concern, including that of Loujain al-Hathloul, who became a political prisoner when she campaigned for women’s right to drive.
Al-Hathloul spent three years in prison before she was released. She was originally sentenced to six years in prison when she was arrested in 2018 under counter-terrorism law. She was held for a total of 1001 days, including her detention time before her trial where she was kept in soliitary confinement.
Saudi Arabia is the last nation in the world to allow women to drive on their own.
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