Women can now drive in Saudi Arabia

Rijadh traffic on the King Fahd Road

Custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman on Tuesday issued a royal order allowing women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to drive.

The structural racism in Saudi Arabia is all-pervasive, and it can be seen in the absence of non-Saudi women resident in Saudi Arabia being given a platform to discuss women's rights.

Twenty-four hours after King Salman issued a decree end the ban, the government announced that a woman had been appointed as assistant mayor of Al Khubar governorate.

The Saudi ministers are now preparing the required reports and in less than 30 days the royal order should be implemented, entering into force by June 2018, writes the Saudi press.

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.

To be sure, giving women the ability to drive will likely give many more women access to the workforce and economic independence, which, incidentally, is one of the broad goals of Saudi leadership's plans to rejuvenate the Kingdom's economy.

Al-Sharif, 38, has long campaigned for women's rights in Saudi Arabia and this year published a memoir "Daring To Drive", which became a worldwide bestseller.

There was some opposition online, however, with some men criticising the decision on Twitter under the slogan "the people refuse women driving".

Lifting the driving ban is part of a broader reform underway in Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The visit follows Somalia's reiteration of its neutral stands last week in the Gulf crisis that saw Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic relations with Qatar in June.

It was unclear whether women would require their guardian's permission to apply for a driving licence. In a separate statement, the government said many senior religious leaders found no, quote, "impediment" in letting women drive. Yet despite this high level of education, more than a third of women remain unemployed.

"My vehicle is still there, the one I drove". It was just five years ago this November that authorities began sending men text messages whenever the women they oversaw left the country.

This great news has made even the U.S. president, Donald Trump, happy and to congratulate Saudi Arabia for the decision to join the rest of the world in allowing woman to drive. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives.

Some men expressed outrage at the about-face by prominent clerics, who in the past have sometimes justified the driving ban by saying women's brains are too small or that driving endangered their ovaries. The country will use the preparatory period to expand training and licensing facilities.

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