Saudi Arabia finally allows women to drive
By Sewe Ishola,
It’s a major win for women as Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that women will be able to legally drive starting next year June.
This is a welcome development and departure from the former stance, where women couldn’t drive and were placed under male guardianship.
The royal decree lifting the ban on women driving, is one of a number of measures pushed by the conservative kingdom’s reform-minded young crown prince, who has pledged to revisit some of the kingdom’s most controversial strictures on women and their place in society.
The move triggered a joyous outpouring on social media from women’s activists and their supporters in the kingdom and around the world, with many using the hashtag #women2drive.
One female activist called it a “great victory”, while another said things would “never be the same again”.
Campaigner Sahar Nassif told the BBC: “I couldn’t believe it. I started laughing and jumping and screaming. It’s a great victory.
“I’m going to buy my dream car, a convertible Mustang, and it’s going to be black and yellow!”
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.
Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined.