A royal decree issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is finally allowing Saudi women to drive cars – File photo
CAIRO – 27 September 2017: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced that Saudi women will be allowed to have their driving licenses, a move that is deemed a major sign of social development for the Saudi kingdom. The decision came according to a royal decree issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Saudi Arabia was the only country that used to ban women from driving for religious-motivated reasons, however, this had long been ridiculed around the world.
Social media users all over the world got thrilled following the decree, resulting numerous tweets and posts reacting to the decision.
“We are finally allowed to drive!!!! Congratulations to the Saudi women,” Psychotherapist Madeha al-Ajroush tweeted. “The will for women to drive has finally come. We, the Saudi women has [sic]
the freedom of mobility.”
Al-Ajroush took part in the first driving protest, along with 46 women, in Saudi Arabia in 1990; the aim behind the protest was to encourage women to break the kingdom’s ban on women driving on their own.
Barbadian singer and songwriter Rihanna also reacted to the decree on Instagram, describing it as progression.
Twitter user Abo Asam referred in his tweets to certain ideologies that used to have influence in the past but now ceased to exist; he posted some book covers written by some radical preachers with titles like “Beware of the telephone, Muslim girl!”, “Why do we fear the satellite dish!” and “Our youth and Bluetooth!”.
Some users remained sarcastic about people who are maybe hoping for some more “freedom” into the Saudi society; Fares Al-Turki tweeted, “Cinemas remain!”
The majority of social media websites users praised the royal decision; Ameerah Al-Taweel tweeted, “A historical decision, we remember how King Faisal supported female education and how king Abdullah allowed women seats in the Sura Council and we saw their achievements; we will always remember.”
Some users criticized people calling for more rights following the decision. Twitter user Dima Khatib tweeted, “Yes, and for sure there are many other rights that may be more important than driving a car. But why not enjoy this moment and then resume talking about the rest.”
“We should be able to set aside all the other elements, including the Gulf crisis. Saudi women will drive cars, this is good news.”
Again with the funny tweets; “Begin practicing now,” Twitter user @saudigamer tweeted.
Twitter user @MjrmGemz posted how Saudi girls would react to the decision by posting a screenshot of car booking apps getting uninstalled.
Some users described the decision as “sensational”.
Other Saudi users expressed pride for the decision.
Saudi feminist Moudi Aljohani also expressed happiness for Saudi women.
Other users were driven by their creativity in expressing how they felt about the decree.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the Saudi King's decree.
Deputy Director of digital team at Human Rights Watch Jim Murphy also welcomed the decision.
Saudi activists have long been participating in campaigns on social media platforms in order to get the right for Saudi female citizens to have their own driving licenses and drive cars without them getting arrested or paying hefty fines.