Women are still not in the driving seat in Saudi Arabia

by Dwayne Torres September 28, 2017, 0:12
Women are still not in the driving seat in Saudi Arabia

A LONG-STANDING injustice is set to be quashed after a royal decree will see women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

"Some said that it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle having women in cars next to them", explains the Times.

A main challenge is likely to be resistance from conservatives who are not keen on certain aspects of Saudi Vision 2030, especially because there will be no strings attached to women driving on their own, noted Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, who briefed reporters there.

"I think our leadership understands our society is ready", Prince Khalid Bin Salman, also son of the king Salman, added.

The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that bans women from driving - and women are still subject to strict dress codes and gender segregation.

Yesterday, the Saudi Arabian government announced that it would allow women the right to drive from next June.

And in a statement Tuesday night, the White House said, "President Donald J. Trump commends the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's decision today to affirm the right of women to drive in the Kingdom". 10 years later King Salman finally gave assent to women drivers in a historic move on 26 September, 2017. Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, says the USA applauds the move.

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Ahead of the new policy, traffic laws will be amended to include things such as the ability for men and women to obtain government-issued licenses. They had to fight and protest to gain it, which is what Saudi women have done as well - some of them ending up in jail for their audacity.

We take into consideration (or we study) the pros of allowing women to drive and the cons of banning them from driving, while taking into account the necessary legal rules and adhering to them.

"We have. established a female-only call centre that has created hundreds of opportunities for women", pointed out Mr Elyas.

Auto manufacturers may sense opportunities in Saudi Arabia with an expanded market.

"This is huge. There is nothing really more hard than this fight for women to drive because it touches every single woman." said al-Sharif. An obvious side effect of the driving ban is the fact that women have been spending a disproportionate amount of their income on paying for a driver or taxis.

But why was driving banned for women, when will they actually be allowed to drive, and what human rights are Saudi activists still fighting for?


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