Saudi Arabia gears up to end women driving ban

Saudi Arabia gears up to end women driving ban

Riyadh - Historic shift as kingdom is set to allow women to drive from this Sunday.


Published: Sat 23 Jun 2018, 11:41 PM

 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from Sunday, ending the world's only ban on female motorists, a historic move in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's much-trumpeted reform drive to modernise the country.
Potentially thousands of female drivers are set to take the wheel on Sunday, a long-awaited rite of passage for women in the kingdom that many say could usher in a new era of social mobility.
For many women the move should prove transformative, freeing them from their dependence on private chauffeurs or male relatives and resulting in big family savings.
"It's a relief," Najah Al Otaibi, a senior analyst at pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, told AFP. "Saudi women feel a sense of justice. They have long been denied a basic human right which has kept them confined and dependent on men, making it impossible to exercise a normal life."
The kingdom earlier this month began issuing its first driving licences to women in decades.

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