Perceptions of Women’s Driving in Saudi Arabia: Relationship with Openness to Experience and Happiness

Saddigha J. Al-Ghalib, Afeefah Y. Salim, Shaden Al-Khalifah, Rana A. Dahlawi

Abstract


In September 2017, King Salman issued a decree that granted women the right to drive. Until then, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that did not allow women such a right. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 plans to modernize the country was a leading force towards this change, but measures to make Saudi Arabia a moderate Islamic country and reduce its dependency on oil revenues have garnered mixed reactions. This has created a need to understand the public’s opinion on women’s driving; but, no tools to measure such perceptions existed. Thus, the aim of the study was to examine the perceptions of women’s driving in Saudi Arabia by creating the ‘Women Driving Perception Scale’ (WDPS). The investigation also focuses on the relationship between such perceptions and levels of openness and happiness. With a reliability of 0.90, the WDPS showed that women are more enthusiastic about their driving than men. Further, there is a positive correlation between the WDPS, openness to experience and subjective happiness, although males score higher on happiness altogether. Factors such as marital and professional status, and women’s reasons for driving were also examined. The WDPS was useful in providing insight on the public’s perceptions and thoughts on women’s driving.

Keywords


Women’s driving; Saudi Arabia; Subjective Happiness Scale; Openness to Experience; Women Driving Perception Scale

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References


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