Published: Wed, September 27, 2017
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Saudi Arabia reverses longstanding ban on women driving

Saudi Arabia reverses longstanding ban on women driving

The following is the text of the royal decree issued by Saudi King Salman regarding women being allowed to drive, as translated from the Arabic version carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The United States on Tuesday welcomed King Salman's order. Support for the overturn of the ban grew further with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise in power and his plan to revitalize Saudi Arabia's economy, which includes a push for more Saudi citizens, women included, to have the opportunity to find employment. The king and his son have also opened the country to more entertainment and fun.

Some women have been arrested and jailed for defying the ban.

The plan to allow women to drive is still developing, however, as Saudi Arabia does not now have any legal methods by which women can obtain licenses or learn how to drive. They argued it would corrupt society and lead to sin.

This follows many years of work by activists in Saudi Arabia to draw worldwide attention to the restrictions, including driving despite the ban as an act of civil disobedience. The more affluent have male drivers and more recently, in major cities, women could access ride hailing apps like Uber and Careem.

In fact, the majority of the members of the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom agree that Islam does not ban women from driving.

Women, however, will not be allowed to obtain licenses immediately. He said the ministry would print a corrected copy of the book and had formed a committee to determine the source of the mistake. In recent years it became seen as a human rights violation, as women began to get behind the wheel as a form of protest.

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