Saudia Arabia announced giving driving license to women, which is proving to be a step in clearing their longstanding image as a conservative and gender discriminated kingdom.
The change, will, however, be applicable in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree read live on television and at a media event in Washington. The decision incorporates the problems that kingdom has to face in the international world and the Saudi government hopes that this action will help the foreign relations of the kingdom.
Following the decree, women will no longer need permission from a legal guardian to get a license and will not need a guardian in the car when they drive, said the new Saudi ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Saudi government hopes the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the betterment of the kingdom’s prosperity.
The US state department commented about the action as “a great step in the right direction”.
For many years, activists have argued that the ban is unjustified and should be removed. But Saudi officials have justified the law, saying that “it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle women in cars next to them,” The Times reported.
“Since that day, Saudi women have been asking for the right to drive, and finally it arrived,” she said Fawziah al-Bakr, a Saudi university professor. “We have been waiting for a very long time.
Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, follows the Shariah law. Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous explanations for the ban over the years. Their concern was that the culture of the Kingdom will get disturbed but now the Kingdom is ready to step forward and make rules as per the requirement of modern day era.