Jamal Saidi/Reuters

No transportation!

Could Saudi Arabia's laws restricting the free movement of women be softening? Reports from the country's Al-Yawm newspaper suggest that women will now be able to ride bicycles and motorbikes in the Saudi kingdom.

This being Saudi Arabia, there are of course several caveats: Women on bicycles must wear the full-body abaya, be accompanied by a male relative, and restrict their two-wheeled gallivanting to recreational areas.

Still, could cycling help increase women's mobility in a country notorious for its restrictions that forbid women to drive?

Not so fast, says the unnamed official who spoke to Al-Yawm. Saudi women may only use bicycles for fun — not for transportation.

Top image: A Saudi woman rides her Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Beirut. Jamal Saidi/Reuters.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

  2. A metal sculpture in the shape of a corn cob near a road in Iowa City, Iowa.
    Life

    Rural and Urban America Have More in Common Than You Think

    A new Pew Research Center survey shows where the geographical divide is overstated.

  3. Equity

    Mapping the Segregation of Metro Atlanta’s Amenities

    A new mapping project shows how segregation is a matter of whether you have close access to a grocery store, hospital, bank, or park—amenities that influence your quality of life.

  4. A detail from a 1942 British Mandate map of Haifa, now a city in Israel.
    Maps

    Mapping Palestine Before Israel

    A new open-source project uses British historical maps to reveal what Palestine looked like before 1948.

  5. A person walks past the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
    Equity

    Revisiting the New Urban Crisis

    The shift toward a more inclusive urbanism has begun. But it will require time, commitment from city institutions, and political agency at the local level.