KSA ,26 sep 2017 : Saudi Arabia has announced it will allow women to drive as of June next year Females had previously been banned from getting behind the wheel in the conservative Islamic State.
The change will come into force in June next year and was announced on state TV.
It was also revealed at a simultaneous event in Washington DC.
The ban has long been held up around the world as the Middle Eastern state’s backward view on women’s rights.
The birthplace of Islam was the only country in the world that had a specific ban on women driving.
Some in the country had claimed that it was inappropriate for Saudi women to drive.
Other reasons for the ban included that it would lead to the break up of the Saudi family, cause promiscuity and that male drivers wouldn’t know how to “handle” women driving cars near them.
One cleric even claimed getting behind the wheel would damage women’s ovaries.
The move, which has been welcomed by the United States, represents a significant opening for women in Saudi Arabia, where women’s rights have steadily and slowly gained ground over the years.
Saudi women remain largely under the whim of male relatives due to guardianship laws.
King Salman and his young son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have tested the waters though, allowing women into the country’s main stadium in the capital, Riyadh, for national day celebrations this month.
The stadium had previously been reserved for all-male crowds to watch sporting events.
Source : The Sun