Women finally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia
Sept 27, Riyadh: After years of ban against women driving in Saudi Arabia and after years and years of protests by human rights activists, Saudi Arabia has finally issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time, to the joy of women and activists alike.
Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined.
Praise for the move has been pouring in from inside the Saudi kingdom, as well as around the world. US President Donald Trump said it was a "positive step" towards promoting women's rights.
The country'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.He said it was "an historic and big day" and "the right decision at the right time".
Rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive, and some women have been imprisoned for defying the rule.
Because of the law, many families have had to employ private drivers to help transport female relatives.
Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who was detained for 73 days in 2017 for flouting the ban, tweeted "thank God"
The move by King Salman has been welcomed by the US state department, which called it "a great step in the right direction".
Similarly the, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres echoed that sentiment.
The Oslo Times International News Network