Saudi Arabia has finally lifted their ban on women drivers on Tuesday as the Royal decree announced that they will allow women to drive – ending a longstanding policy of the conservative kingdom.
The Gulf kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the only country in the whole world which bans women from driving and it had been a subject of conflict since long. Till now, only men were allowed to get license and drive in public but after years of struggle, women drivers will now be allowed to drive. The change in this law will be applicable from June 2018 as announced in a royal decree read live on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. The change in law was made so that women can contribute more in the development of economy of the country and be allowed to develop themselves socially.
Till date, many working women in Saudi Arabia spent a huge amount of their money paying to drivers or they had to be driven to work by their male relatives – supressing their efficiency to a huge extent. But finally, the ban has been lifted and it is nothing less than a historic achievement to most women in the kingdom. To implement the law, a ministerial body will be set up within 30 days to give advice on whether to pass the law or not and then it will be effective from June 2018.
During the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked. The passing of this law reform has come through a long rough road, where women right groups from the kingdom have campaigned for years to get the permission to drive. Female activists have triggered multiple protests in 1990, 2011, 2013 and recently have been posting videos of themselves driving. Despite being arrested, imprisoned and losing jobs, the activists didn’t give up and finally they have made it. We can only imagine how it would have been, being not able to drive on ourselves.