Saudi Arabia has taken a step further in enhancing the status of women throughout the country by discontinuing the age-old practice of not allowing them to drive. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has declared the policy which will be in effect by June 2018 if things turn out as expected. Women activists in the nation who have for years been trying to get rid of the unfair drive barrage policy of the government have finally been rewarded with their desired result.  After allowing women to vote in 2015, the number of women taking up jobs and involving themselves in various professions had significantly increased. This decision now is another step forward for the country who has previously never allowed its women to go free on roads.

Saudi Arabia, which is looked at as one of the world’s most women oppressive country is finally redefining the norms with their new prince in charge. The major policy will be executed from June 2018 and the women in the country will now be able to obtain driving licenses without seeking permission from male members of their families. The move has been welcomed by women welfare bodies in the countries that wanted to bring the change and were actively working towards it.

The Country has strict guardianship laws against women and the female counterparts are not given the acclamation they deserve. This law change will be a great step in the right direction for the country. Many women activists who have been to jail for the cause, are now applauding this upright move by their 32-year-old Prince.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency and state TV confirmed the news late Tuesday evening, saying King Salman has ordered both men and women to be issued drivers’ licenses.

The country has been ruled on the principles of absolute Shariah law and the ones in power have for years support the ban by stating various reasons. Some said they didn’t want their females to get into trouble if a car breaks down in between; some even said that women driving is a sin in Islam and would corrupt the society. A cleric had claimed it affects pregnancy as well.

This decision now has won the ultraconservative nation, praises from its major diplomatic allies like the US. A report on region n country’s national TV channel said, traffic laws in the country would be amended, and men and women would be allowed driving licenses on an equal basis. Traffic police will also be trained accordingly, on guidelines of how to interact with women, added the report.

A committee has been formed to provide recommendations within 30 days, for the new policy to be carried out by June 24, 2018. A hashtag of #Women2drive has been trending on Twitter, ever since the news broke in the country.

First Published | 27 September 2017 8:05 AM
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