Widespread jubilation as Saudi Arabia allows women to drive

Widespread jubilation as Saudi Arabia allows women to drive

- Women in Saudi Arabia will now be allowed to drive cars starting if the government implements before June 24, 2018

- A committee has been formed to implement the ruling and it will present recommendations within 30 days from Tuesday, September 26

- Ambassador bin Salman described the step as "part of Vision 2030, which is a huge step toward a brighter future

In Saudi Arabia, a royal decree was issued on Tuesday, September 26, that will allow women in the country to drive.

The Saudi Foreign ministry revealed this via its official Twitter account. A committee has been formed to implement the ruling and it will present recommendations within 30 days. Then the government will have until June 24, 2018, to implement the new decree.

Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, said: "This is a historic big day in our kingdom," while briefing reporters.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote on his official Twitter, praising the move and saying it was "an important step in the right direction."

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Liesl Gerntholtz, executive director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch said there was still a long way to go for Saudi women.

She said: "This prohibition on driving is just one in a vast series of laws and policies which prevent women from doing many things.

"The guardianship rule stops women from making every decision in her life without the assistance of a male relative, even if that relative is her 7-year-old son."

According to CNN, Ambassador bin Salman described the step as "part of Vision 2030, which is a huge step toward a brighter future."

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He also said: "That plan for the country's economic reinvention rests on a number of pillars, including youth empowerment, social organization and women's empowerment, "which is an extremely important element of the changes happening in Saudi Arabia.

"We are trying to increase women's participation in the workforce.

"In order to change women's participation in the workforce we need them to be able to drive to work," said bin Salman, who is a son of the current king and a brother of the crown prince. "We need them to move forward, we need them to improve our economy."

Marwa Abdelghani, a media fellow at the Muslim Public Affairs Council, reiterated that the new laws wouldn't take effect for another year.

"Saudi Arabian women are going to continue fighting and are going to continue running these campaigns to try to overturn these laws.

"At the end of the day these laws are showing how Saudi Arabia has been resisting overturning or relinquishing power to over 50 percent of the population," she said.

NAIJ.com earlier reported that the total number of pilgrims for the 2017 Hajj in Saudi Arabia hit 1.705 million higher than the immediate last exercise with 367,095.

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The statistics were released by the Directorate General of Passports and contained in the Saudi Gazette.

Watch this video as Nigerians speak on the possibility of a female president in the country:

Source: Naij.com

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