A royal decree signed by Saudi Arabian King Salman yesterday has lifted the country’s enduring ban on women driving. New laws allow the government to issue driver licences to both men and women.
The new law will come into effect in June 2018, putting an end to the outdated system which stood for the repression women. Despite longstanding equal rights campaigns to abolish the ban, the country’s supposed “guardianship” laws enable men to control their female relatives, reports The New York Times. Saudi women are prevented from working and travelling without their husband’s or father’s permission, hence the restrictions on driving.
Protest is expected to occur around the new announcement, with many local males claiming it is inappropriate for women to drive and the new laws could result in promiscuity. One opposer went so far as to assert that driving was dangerous for women’s ovaries.
At present, Saudi women have to use Uber or other ride-sharing apps to get around – or walk.