Officials have said that Saudi Arabian women could soon have the choice to drive motorcycles, trucks, vans and even cars. This decision comes after Saudi Arabia decided to end its historically oppressive ban from women being allowed to drive. King Salman ordered this decree announcing that women will soon be allowed to drive, which sets forward an ambitious new reform.

The details of this new system were given, and it follows the previous lifting of bans on the Saudi Press. This historic decision has been cheered on most fronts and even inside the kingdom. Women will now have the option to drive trucks and motorcycles, and the law has stated how the driving laws for both will be made equal for women and men. Under the new stipulations, women also won’t need a special license plate that is intended for female drivers.

Women who have been charged with a traffic violation or were responsible for a car accident will have to deal with this problem at a special center. The center has been established by women, and it will be operated with women.

Across the globe, no other country on the planet has imposed a ban on women drivers. The decision of the Gulf Kingdom to keep this continued ban for women being allowed to drive turned into an international sign of oppression. Before, the country used what was known as a guardianship system. The men in the family, usually the father, brother or husband, had to give permission for the woman to travel, study or do other activities. After many decades where Saudi Arabia fiercely resisted feminist activists, many of which were imprisoned, the country has finally lifted the ban on women drivers.

Some women have excitedly already left for Bahrain, the neighboring country, with plans to train for motorcycle riding in advance. Maryam Ahmed Al-Moalem, one of the enthusiasts, hopes that she will be among the first women who can ride motorcycles within the country. Maryam belongs to the “Harley Owners Group,” and she received regular support here from instructors and experienced motorcycle riders. While neither Saudi law nor Islamic law had ever prohibited women from being allowed to drive, they were never allowed a license, and if they tried to drive, Saudi police would arrest them.

Things in the Gulf Kingdom still aren’t perfect. For example, under the new law, women will still have to have permission from a male family member before she is allowed to receive her license. Still, that’s a little progress compared to what it looked like before. This is one of the most ambitious moves that we have seen Mohammed bin Salmon, the young crown prince, make. One of the biggest problems women could soon face, however, is the fact that there aren’t many driving schools for women and the high cost could be intended to intimidate them.


Source: Washington Post