Saudi reforms put spotlight on Iran's women's movement

Absent political will to engage in genuine reform, Iranian women face a long road ahead in achieving their rights.

Women hold T-shirts as they protest for Iranian women's rights to enter stadiums in Iran, ahead of the FIVB Volleyball World League match between Poland and Iran, at Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland, June 17, 2017. (photo by REUTERS/Parham Ghobadi)

Saudi Arabia attracted significant media attention when it announced that it would finally allow women to drive as of . It was also announced later that women will be allowed into some of the country’s next year. Many have since drawn comparisons between Saudi Arabia and Iran, where women have long been allowed to drive but entering stadiums. What is common between the two neighbors is that the status of women is defined by traditions and religious practices sanctioned by law. Where things now appear to diverge is that Saudi Arabia seems willing to challenge what has long been the norm at a faster pace.

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