<< Back to articles

Saudi Arabia finally lets women drive

by Thomas published on September 27, 2017

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, is an absolute monarchy ruled according to Shariah law.

Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous explanations for the ban over the years.

Some said that it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle having women in cars next to them. Others argued that allowing women to drive would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family.
One cleric claimed — with no evidence — that driving harmed women’s ovaries.

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday 9/26/2017 that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the oppression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.

Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives.

 

The change, which will take effect in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree read live on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington.

The decision highlights the damage that the ban on women driving has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Copyright © 2017 Americanlisted.com, All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.