Saudi Arabia isn't suddenly a feminist paradise

Allowed to drive cars Saudi women rejoice, World welcome King Salman's decision

After decades of repressing their women in a multitude of ways, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted its women the right 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 Saudi ministers are now preparing the required reports and in less than 30 days the royal order should be implemented, entering into force by June 2018, writes the Saudi press.

Women in Saudi Arabia are gaining some of their rights as they will soon be able to drive a vehicle.

In the decree, the king referred to the negative consequences of not allowing women to drive, and the positive aspects of allowing them to do so, taking into consideration the application of the necessary Shariah regulations.

Saudi Arabia announced today that it will overturn a longstanding ban and allow women to drive.

Previously, women in the Gulf nation could be arrested for driving.

With more than half the country aged under 25, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the architect of the reforms, is seen as catering to the aspirations of youths. The male guardianship system requires women to have a male relative's approval for decisions on education, employment, marriage, travel plans and even medical treatment. According to the World Economic Forum, which conducts the ranking, the Saudi labor market "is segmented among different population groups, and women remain largely excluded". This means less than one-third of the world's lawmakers are women.

But most who used the negative hashtag were women mocking men opposed to them driving.

Given the driving ban, women have recently begun to rely on ride-hailing apps like Uber, which have facilitated their entry into the workforce, and decreased their dependency on men to chauffeur them. Until then Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world to enforce gender apartheid behind the wheel. Still, lifting the driving ban on women could help the country's global reputation.

The decree added that the majority of the Council of Senior Scholars - the kingdom's top clerical body, whose members are appointed by the king - had agreed that the government could allow women to drive if done in accordance with syariah law. The country will use the preparatory period to expand training and licensing facilities. Ms. Al-Sharif, for example, is a cybersecurity expert who once worked at the state-owned Saudi Aramco before she became fed up and moved to Australia.



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