Now women can drive in Saudi Arabia

FILE- In this Saturday March 29, 2014 file photo, a woman drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving. Saudi Arabia authorities announced Tuesday Sept. 26, 2017, that women will be allowed to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom from next summer, fulfilling a key demand of women's rights activists who faced detention for defying the ban. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, FILE)

Dubai: In what comes under the category of a landmark decision, Saudi Arabia has allow women to drive for the first time. It is worthwhile mentioning that Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to restrict women from driving. For years, the ultra-conservative kingdom had attracted negative publicity globally for detaining women who defied the ban.

According to the officials, a new committee will be formed to implement the new order. Since the 1990s, women’s rights activists have been pushing for the right to drive, arguing that it reflects their larger struggle for equality under the rule of law.

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As a matter of fact, Aziza Youssef, one of Saudi Arabia’s most vocal women’s rights activists, hailed the decision as a “great first step”.

The new Saudi ambassador to Washington Prince Khaled bin Salman commended the move as a “huge step forward” for his country.

The ambassador, however, said the decision to let women drive wasn’t put into effect at the request of the US and that the issue did not come up for discussion during President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the kingdom.

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On the other side of the coin, US President Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women to drive. The statement from the White House press secretary’s office says Trump viewed the change as “a positive step toward promoting the rights and opportunities of women in Saudi Arabia”.