As a Prince Accelerates Changes for Women, Saudis Adapt at Varied Pace

Saudi Arabia is “one of the world’s most restrictive environments for women, where they could not travel alone, hold a wide range of jobs, show their hair in public or drive. That is beginning to change.”

A series of recent decisions by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s young, de facto ruler, could revolutionize the lives of Saudi women. They will soon be allowed to attend soccer matches at public stadiums. They have been named to prominent positions. In June, they will be allowed to drive cars, even motorcycles, the government says. Women will probably even be able to join the traffic police.

But how much these dizzying decisions will affect individuals will depend on several factors, including where they live, their age, their own beliefs and the willingness of their male relatives to give up the control that many consider a religious prerogative.