Ever since he was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, just over a year ago, Mohammed bin Salman has been making groundbreaking changes in the kingdom. Being next in line for the throne is no easy job, and so far, the reforms the young leader has been making under his post oil plan, Vision 2030, aim to strengthen the kingdom, boost the economy and include a focus on gender equality.
Saudi Arabia has been celebrating since Crown Prince MBS lifted the ban on female drivers in the kingdom, re-opened public cinemas, made sporting events an inclusive place for women and appointed women in empowering career positions – which the kingdom will see more of going forward.
The young Saudi royal is a man of his word and these are just some of the things he said that had us hanging on to every word.
On Women’s Rights
“I just want to remind the world that American women had to wait long to get their right to vote. So we need time. We have taken many steps,” he told Bloomberg. “In King Salman’s time, women were able to vote for the first time and 20 women won in these elections. Women can now work in any sector. In business and commerce, as a lawyer, in the political field and in all sectors. Women can carry out any jobs they want. What is left is that we support women for the future and I don’t think there are obstacles we can’t overcome.”
On Women’s Clothing
“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men,” Mohammed bin Salman told CBS this year as he toured North America. “This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”
On the Future of Saudi Arabia
“We try to work only with the dreamers,” Crown Prince Mohammed told investors last year while announcing a new mega-city, according to CNN. “This place is not for conventional people or companies.”
About That Law
“Before 1979 there were societal guardianship customs but no guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia, it doesn’t go back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. In the 1960’s women didn’t travel with male guardians. But it happens now, and we want to move on it and figure out a way to treat this that doesn’t harm families and doesn’t harm the culture,” the Saudi royal told The Atlantic in 2018.
“We want to go back to what we were: moderate Islam. Saudi Arabia was not like this before 1979. We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that’s open to all religions. We want to live a normal life. We want coexist with and contribute to the world.” MBS told CBS.