FILE: Women of Saudi Arabia finally behind the wheel!
CAIRO – 24 June 2018: The decades-long decree banning women from driving - the last law of its kind in the world – was finally overturned on Sunday, June 24. Saudis have celebrated the decision in the streets and on social media platforms.
The decision to end the ban on women's driving is one of other several decisions in women's favor, such as allowing them to enter sports fields, attend concerts and work in many sectors that are new to women.
Saudi Arabia has witnessed two years of major changes. One year after Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) took office as Crown Prince, his ambitious agenda to make Saudi better reflects his youthful vision, and his conviction that the kingdom cannot be economically developed without being socially developed.
By ending the ban, Saudi Arabia has ended much of the "privacy" that has characterized it and isolated it from the world. It is time for it to become a normal state, with women regaining a lot of their rights. All these decisions are part of the "Vision 2030", which aims at transferring Saudi Arabia from a country with oil as its only commodity into a state economically, politically and militarily capable.
Former FEPS dean congratulates women in Saudi Arabia
“Giving women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia is great after long years of depriving them from this human right,” AUC professor and former dean of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS), Cairo University, Alia el-Mahdi told Egypt Today on Sunday.
Mahdi manifested that it was strange that female Saudis were the only women in the region who could not drive, adding, “Iran, the most conservative country in the Middle East, allows women to drive. Egypt, other Gulf countries and Arabs in north Africa allow women to drive.”
“I hope Saudi rulers reconsider the sponsorship system known as Kafala System,” added Mahdi.
She wondered if allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia would bring any harm to anybody, “I guess not. It will make at least half of the Saudis happy as women are almost half of the population in Saudi Arabia.”
First Gulf female Singer drives car in Riyadh
Kuwaiti singer Nawal al-Kuwaitia appeared on Sunday driving her car in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the early hours of implementing the decision of lifting the drive ban.
The famous singer expressed her admiration of the decision and congratulated Saudi women on this historic step. She said, "It is one of their simplest rights."
The Kuwaiti singer was in Riyadh performing a concert on Saturday evening at King Fahad's Cultural Theatre in Riyadh as part of the events of Eid Al-Fitr.
Saudi woman could not believe she is driving Psychiatrist Samira al-Ghamedi drove her car on the first hours of Sunday. Her son, Abdul Malek, was next to her encouraging her and giving her some practical advice so that she could drive safely.
Ghamedi said to Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, which accompanied her during the drive, that she was nervous and she could not believe she was driving her car heading to a fast-food restaurant to buy food for her children in celebration of the historical day.
Cars drove everywhere surrounded with police patrol cars, but matters were quiet. Other drivers seemed to have accepted the matter and no one was complaining.
Ghamedi said that her son and brothers' support was also very effective, which is important for every woman.
Jeddah witnessed a gathering of international media as about fifty delegations gathered in front of one of Jeddah's malls.