Saudi restores women’s right to drive

News

According to BBC report:

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time, to the joy of activists.

The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that bans women from driving.

Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined.

Praise for the move has been pouring in from inside the Saudi kingdom, as well as around the world. US President Donald Trump said it was a “positive step” towards promoting women’s rights.

Campaigner Sahar Nassif told the BBC from Jeddah that she was “very, very excited – jumping up and down and laughing”.

“I’m going to buy my dream car, a convertible Mustang, and it’s going to be black and yellow!”

What happens now?

  • A ministerial body will be set up to give advice within 30 days
  • The royal order will be implemented by 24 June 2018

The country’s US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked.

He said it was “an historic and big day” and “the right decision at the right time”.

What has the road to reform been like?

Rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive, and some women have been imprisoned for defying the rule.