Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Saudi women get driving licences

Saudi Arabia women driving Saudi women get driving licences
Patty Aguilar | 07 June, 2018, 12:49

According to reports, some 2,000 women are expected to file papers to receive a license in the next few days.

June 24 will see the end of the ban on women driving in the kingdom.

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"The general directorate of traffic started replacing worldwide driving licences recognised in the kingdom with Saudi licences".

The tweet containing the video included the caption, "Thousands of congratulations to the daughters of the homeland, being issued the first license in Saudi Arabia", Arab News reported.

Last month, several women, who were advocating for the right to drive, were arrested and accused of "coordinated activity undermining the security and stability of the Kingdom". As a precursor to ending the world's only ban on women drivers, the country gave 10 licenses to women today in the country's capital city Riyadh.

The AP reports that the women now under arrest could potentially face a trial. Among these activists is Loujain Alhathloul, a 28-year-old Saudi woman whose work to dismantle the system of male guardianship has landed her in jail on multiple occasions.

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Saudi women have previously petitioned the government for the lifting of the ban, and even taken to the wheel in protest.

A Saudi woman speaks to an officer before her driving exam.

To boost the economy and ease worldwide criticism, Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been promoting changes, like the decision to allow women to drive, all while risking backlash from clerics and others who adhere to the ultraconservative Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. All ten were issued national licenses after turning in their worldwide ones, Al Jazeera reported.

The civil rights crackdown is still in effect, however.

Last year, the crown prince, regarded as a major power in the country, outlined an ambitious plan to reform the Saudi economy by 2030.

"Driving for women is not just about driving a auto; it enhances strength of character, self-confidence, and decision-making skills", she said in a statement issued by the government.

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