Saudi women finally drive after decades-old ban officially ends

Sarah El-Sheikh
2 Min Read

Saudi females were allowed to drive starting from Sunday for the first time in their country’s history, after a ban on women driving imposed long ago was finally lifted.

The historic event, announced in September, is part of far-reaching reforms decided by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to modernise the conservative kingdom.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to have had a ban on women driving, as many females were arrested for attempting to drive and ordered to pay fine over the years.

In the early hours of the day, on social media platforms, videos and photos of Saudi females going out for their very first drive in the country circulated widely to celebrate the historic event. During the past several months, female driving schools began operating in several cities to teach women to drive.

Saudi females have long been dependent on chauffeurs and male members of their families to transport them to their destinations. The new decision allows them to drive their cars themselves and grants them full freedom of mobility. 

Saudi females driving is one of the changes that will be added to country’s history, as the country long faced deterioration in women’s rights. 

Beginning in June, 10 female drivers obtained driving licenses, a number that is expected to rise dramatically. The Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information estimates that some 2,000 women will gain licenses over the coming weeks.

The move is expected to boost women’s employment, encourage more women into the workforce, and raise productivity. In past years, females already started to gradually take up a more prominent role in society, occupying a variety of professions in the country.

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