In the past few years Saudi has gone through some significant changes under Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to modernize the country. Some notable changes include: lifting the ban on women driving, women being able to travel without permission from guardians, and women having more control over family matters. Most of these reforms have been beneficial, and helped create stepping stones towards greater access and equality for the nation’s women.
In the beginning April of 2021, Saudi has introduced dozens of female soldiers into the security services in both Mecca and Medina, the two holiest sites within Islam. One soldier, Mona describes her journey to this monumental position. Mona’s father had been in the military and she was inspired to follow in his footsteps: “To serve worshippers is a very noble and horrible task.”
The women helping with the hajj pilgrimage direct and guide worshippers while maintaining their safety. Women having this role within Mecca is significant because it reaches back to the roots of Islam. This is just one of the many ways how Islam empowers and exalts women. It is only right that women are involved in the guarding of Mecca, and are able to be with the worshippers.
While this is a significant step in the right direction for advancing and expanding women’s rights, we hope that they continue to expand and include women in all aspects of the public and private sector, in all religious activities, holidays and traditions.