Saudi women finally get to drive

Saudi women finally get to drive

Starting at midnight local time, women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia when a controversial ban comes to an end.

Saudi Arabia, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, started issuing its first driving licences for female motorists earlier this month.

"Women in Saudi Arabia live under patriarchal structures".

"In other words, the lifting of the driving ban is nothing more than a PR stunt and an economic policy".

Why was there a ban in the first place?

New auto sales in Saudi Arabia fell 22.3% a year ago to 536,767 vehicles, according to Matt Gasnier, founder of bestsellingcarsblog.com, which gathers auto sales data from manufacturers around the world.

It was only a few years ago that religious police- known for their long beards and shorter white robes- enforced an austere interpretation of Islam that banned music of any kind in public, much less the sound of a woman's voice on loudspeakers. If they want to travel, work or access healthcare, they must be accompanied by a male guardian or have their written permission.

Following the announcement, the government began the process of issuing driving licences to women in the country. They still patrol some public spaces, but no longer harass people for being on the streets during prayer time or enter private establishments to enforce gender segregation.

Due to strict enforcement of Sharia law, women are not allowed to attend the same driving schools as men. Over the years it has been covered by many artists but the version recorded on May 17, at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio in Boston, Massachusetts, will have a special resonance throughout theGulf region this month.

Granting women the right to drive is part of a wider blueprint for the future drawn up by the crown prince. The decision is in line with the Vision 2030 blueprint for the future, spearheaded by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

It proposes a radical reform of the Saudi economy and aims to diversify it away from its dependence on oil.

It should also encourage more women into the workforce and raise productivity, if only modestly at first. "It is only a matter of time for the society to accept it, generally", said Samira al-Ghamdi, a 47-year-old psychologist from Jeddah, as she drove herself to work.

WH Event on Murder Victims of Illegal Immigrants Featured Giant Trump Autographs
When there was a vote on the Dream Act in 2010, it failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Fort Wayne last week to talk about the immigration policy.

"I think it will change our life". "Yesterday we sat there", she added, pointing to the back.

For decades, hardliners cited austere Islamic interpretations to justify the driving ban, with some asserting that women lack the intelligence to drive and that lifting the prohibition would promote promiscuity.

The ride-hailing app Careem has pledged to have 20,000 female drivers operating in Saudi Arabia by 2020. Various training centres and driving schools across the country went operational where women could learn driving through simulators.

However not all women will be in a position to obtain a driving license.

"I'm overwhelmed, I don't feel like this is really happening", Sara al-Haji, 35, told the Telegraph.

The women filmed the moment they crossed the border.

A shadow has been cast over King Salman's reforms.

But although women can now drive, the change came along with an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right.

Authorities say eight of the detainees have been "temporarily released" until the investigation is completed.

Rights group Amnesty International has hailed the end of the driving ban.

"The smear campaign that targeted these activists is unprecedented, and proves that any views that do not align with the government's reform agenda will not be publicly tolerated".

Related Articles

  • Runner accidentally crosses United States  border and gets detained by authorities

    Runner accidentally crosses United States border and gets detained by authorities

    Roman's mother, Christiane, said the detention was unfair because there were no signs or warnings to people of the global border. About 80 per cent of refugee claimants to B.C. cross the Canada-U.S. border through Peace Arch Park, in Surrey.
    World class Lukaku indispensable for Belgium as he scores another double

    World class Lukaku indispensable for Belgium as he scores another double

    Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed that Lukaku is now playing with confidence. He was fantastic, scored two goals.
    First lady's 'don't care' jacket is a gift to memers online

    First lady's 'don't care' jacket is a gift to memers online

    Grisham sent out a tweet saying the first lady's visit with children in Texas impacted the first lady "greatly". After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.
  • We May Know the Date for Amazon’s 36-Hour Prime Day

    We May Know the Date for Amazon’s 36-Hour Prime Day

    In the past, it was very much a case of taking a quick look at the site and seeing if a Prime Day offer grabbed your attention. Last year's event ran about 30 hours, with the 2018 sale marking the third year since Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015.
    World Cup match report Korea Republic v Mexico 23 June 2018

    World Cup match report Korea Republic v Mexico 23 June 2018

    Winning the group with three straight victories will be a good sign, but getting past the next round is the ultimate goal. Osorio's team started on the front foot, with Miguel Layun seeing plenty of the ball in wide positions.
    Korea Threat Despite Assurances After Summit

    Korea Threat Despite Assurances After Summit

    The move follows as the US and South Korea cancelled two more training exercises on Friday, reports the BBC. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said that all US sanctions will remain in force for now.
  • Cavs have had 'good dialogue' with LeBron

    Cavs have had 'good dialogue' with LeBron

    Although this offseason's trade rumors seem to be real this time around, the Cavs have seemingly shut them down, at least for now. After yielding to Irving's request and trading him, the Cavs spent all last season trying to replace him.
    Rampant Mexico see off South Korea to close on last 16

    Rampant Mexico see off South Korea to close on last 16

    Fellow World Cup victor Mesut Ozil did not even make the line-up after 26 consecutive starts at major tournaments. It was the first time Ozil was dropped from the lineup in a major global championship in his senior career.

    Comedian Tom Arnold fuels Trump tape speculation with Michael Cohen picture

    News asked Michael Cohen about the tweeted photo and he referred their inquiries to Tom Arnold who later contacted NBC News . On Thursday, Arnold tweeted a photo of himself with a smiling Cohen together with the message: "I love NY ".
  • Zimbabwean president survives assassination attempt

    Zimbabwean president survives assassination attempt

    Twenty-three candidates have registered to contest the election and Mnangagwa has promised a free and fair vote. Bulawayo police are already investigating the attempt on the president's life.
    EU to respond to any US auto tariff move

    EU to respond to any US auto tariff move

    Beijing has vowed to immediately retaliate with its own tariffs on USA soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at Mr. He said the move would be in retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in USA goods.
    Erdogan faces toughest challenge yet as Turkey heads to polls

    Erdogan faces toughest challenge yet as Turkey heads to polls

    The country further witnessed a failed military coup in July 2016 which was blamed on US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey's opposition candidates have repeatedly complained over the lack of airtime offered by largely pro-government media.