Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Women Finally Allowed to Drive in Saudi Arabia

Women Finally Allowed to Drive in Saudi Arabia

Custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman on Tuesday issued a royal order allowing women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to drive.

NORTHAM: This television anchor broke the news, saying, this is a day women in Saudi Arabia have been waiting for a really long time, King Salman's royal decree that any woman who wants one could get a driver's license.

"The fact that women are now getting the opportunity to drive legally, something we take for granted in the USA and really in any modern country, is a major step towards allowing for more rights for women, civil rights for women", Stur said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May hailed it as an "important step towards gender equality".

Saudi state TV said that the rollout of the changes would take until June 2018.

Clerics in Saudi Arabia have long opposed lifting the ban.

Saudi Arabia announced today that it will overturn a longstanding ban and allow women to drive. "Congratulations to the women of my homeland".

Dr. Madawi al-Rasheed, a Saudi academic, congratulated the women activists in a tweet and wished for "political and civil rights and an elected government" to follow.

It was unclear whether women would require their guardian's permission to apply for a driving licence.

Buti said this change will not only help the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but believes the economy will also see a positive change.

The second hashtag refers to the guardianship program that puts women in the kingdom under the surveillance of male relatives; among other things, guardians have the power to approve marriages and travel.

Previously, women in the Gulf nation could be arrested for driving. "I feel like no one can understand it fully but us", said Abeer Alarjani, 32, who plans to start driving lessons. It was just five years ago this November that authorities began sending men text messages whenever the women they oversaw left the country. Women are also a burgeoning social force.

The decision risks riling religious conservatives and is part of the government's major reform drive, conceived by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The right to drive is a seriously hard-won battle that Saudi Arabia's women should properly celebrate. The committee must submit its recommendations within 30 days.

The decision has sparked euphoria and disbelief among activists in the kingdom, which was the only country in the world to still ban women from driving.

Sept 28: Saudi appointed its first spokeswoman, Fatimah Baeshen, at its embassy in Washington.

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