Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving with immediate effect
Sep 27, 2017 World 1867 By Sharon Ayomide
- Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving with immediate effect.
- Government says this is in line with Islamic doctrine and precepts.
- The announcement was contained in a decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
- It takes effect immediately but would take several months to roll out.
In a move that has taken the world by surprise, Saudi Arabia has reversed
its ban on women driving.
Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world where women were not allowed to obtain a driving license and this move should see all that change for the better.
According to Saudi Press Agency, the announcement was contained in a decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who acknowledged that although it takes effect immediately, it would take a few months to roll out.
The decree said that women would be allowed to drive "in accordance with the Islamic laws".
In 2016, Alwaleed bin Talal, an influential Saudi prince called for an "urgent" end to the ban, saying it is a matter not just of rights but economic necessity.
"Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity," Alwaleed said.
"They are all unjust acts by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion."
The Prince further highlighted the economic consequences of women not driving citing that it already costs as much as $1000 per month for a driver.
"Having women drive has become an urgent social demand predicated upon current economic circumstances," said the prince.
A slow expansion of women's rights began under the late king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who in 2013 named some women to the Shura Council, which advises the cabinet.