In very good news, Saudi Arabia will soon allow women to drive.
King Salman ordered the reform in a royal decree delivered on Tuesday night, requesting that drivers’ licences be issued to women who wanted them.
Following the decree, women will no longer need permission from a legal guardian to get a licence and won’t need a guardian in the car when they drive, said the new Saudi ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
‘I think our leadership understands our society is ready,’ he told reporters.
When asked if Saudi Arabia plan to relax the guardianship laws, or take any other steps to expand women’s rights, Salman would not comment.
A committee of ministers has been set up to examine the arrangements and they will take up the recommendations within 30 days from the date of the decree. The new ruling will be implemented between 23 and 24 of June 2018, based on the Islamic calendar.
The decree said that women would be allowed to drive ‘in accordance with the Islamic laws’.
The decision doesn’t take effect until next year but the milestone was greeted with jubilation on social media, with the hashtag #SaudiWomenCanDrive immediately trending. Arabic hashtags launched just a few seconds after the announcement included #KingBacksWomenDrive and #WomenDrive.
In amongst her Fenty promotion, Rihanna celebrated the huge win for women’s rights:
Instagram : @badgalriri
But some of the funniest and most heart-warming posts have come from Saudi women themselves.
Some were already picking out what car they wanted:
While others were literally just thrilled:
Some deleted a certain taxi app immediately:
People’s inner Yonce also came out:
Of course some men started making unfunny sexist jokes:
In general, though, the news was was seen as a very good thing by all involved.
The rule has been a long-time coming. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that forbids women from obtaining their driver’s licenses and the long-standing ban has been deeply unpopular abroad. It is often pointed to as proof of Saudi Arabia’s repressive rule.
The country also has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, despite ambitious government reforms aimed at boosting female employment, but it does appear to be relaxing some norms.
The announcement follows a gender-mixed celebration of Saudi National Day over the weekend – the first of its kind – which aimed to spotlight the kingdom’s reform push, analysts said, despite a backlash from religious conservatives.
Women were also allowed into a sports stadium – previously a male-only arena – to watch a musical concert, a move that chimes with the government’s ‘Vision 2030’ plan for social and economic reform as the kingdom prepares for a post-oil era.
From : ELLE UK