Offering respite to Saudi women, Saudi Arabia has now announced that the country will not allow women to drive.
A right that should have been for women right from the start is now finally given to them in Saudi Arabia. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia signed a royal decree allowing women to drive as per ‘Islamic practices’.
The order will be of immediate effect. However the implementation of it will take time, probably months.
A Saudi Press Agency reported that a high-level committee of ministers has been set up to formulate the arrangements for the implementation of this order. It is reported that the committee will take up recommendations within 30 days from the date of the decree and will implement it between 23 and 24th June 2018.
Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that did not allow women to drive, until now. Women activists have been previously arrested for driving and defying the ban.
It was back in 2016 that Prince Alwaweed bin Talal had called for such a move. He had also spoken of the economic costs that were incurred in hiring private taxis for women – approximately $60,000 a month. He had likened this right to the right to education.
The announcement comes after Saudi National Day that was celebrated over the weekend. Women were allowed in a sports stadium to watch a musical concert, for the very first time.
However, even today, a Saudi woman needs permission from a male family member to travel and study, amongst other activities.