Local News

Women finally granted the right to drive in Saudi Arabia for the first time

A world first.

By Holly Royce
Saudi woman driving

The king of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, shared the announcement in a royal decree on Tuesday, allowing women the right to drive in the state for the first time ever.

Up until this time, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to prohibit women from driving. Organisations around the world have been campaigning for numerous years to permit women the right to drive in the state, and many women have been arrested following attempts to dispute the ban by driving illegally.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the "negative consequences of not allowing women to drive vehicles and the positive aspects of allowing it to do so," was assessed and a decision made.

"The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licences for men and women alike," a press release continued.

It also addressed that the decree should "apply and adhere to the necessary Sharia standards", though no further details have been given on how this will be implemented.

The ultra-conservative state also enforces a law that women wear long robes, a headscarf and need the permission of a male guardian for a majority of legal procedures.

The decree means that women will no longer have to gain the permission from a legal male guardian to get a license or in the car with them when they drive explained Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi ambassador to Washington DC.

“I think our leadership understands our society is ready,” he explained to reporters.

The law change will be implemented by June 2018.

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