Published: Thu, September 28, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

From Riyadh cafe to Twitter, Saudis hail driving ban end

From Riyadh cafe to Twitter, Saudis hail driving ban end

"Hoping to improve its worldwide relations through this gesture, the king Salman has signed a royal decree, issued on Tuesday evening, which is created to enable women to gain access to the driving licence".

King Salman ordered the reform in a royal decree delivered on Tuesday night, requesting that drivers' licences be issued to women who wanted them.

For the first time women in the ultra-conservative kingdom will be allowed to drive from June 2018, the announcement about which was made on Wednesday.

The shift comes several months after the Saudi king named a new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

US President Donald Trump congratulated Saudi Arabia for its decision to join the rest of the world in allowing women to drive, calling it a "positive step" for the Kingdom.

Both companies had seen the Saudi market as one of the most lucrative, especially with government plans to bring a further 1.3 million women into the workforce by 2030.

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But Jones said the company did not fully understand TfL's concerns and that he was eager to speak with its representatives. It now operates ride services in more than 600 cities, covering as much as 95 percent of the USA population.

The Saudi envoy said cheerily: "You may be interested to know that a few minutes ago, a royal decree has been issued in Saudi Arabia giving women the right to drive". 10 years later King Salman finally gave assent to women drivers in a historic move on 26 September, 2017.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the change "a great step in the right direction for that country".

Why weren't women allowed to drive?

Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. Numerous women were arrested, including Manal al-Sharif who tweeted of the new decree, 'Today the last country on earth to allow women to drive...we did it'. In recent decades, some Saudi Arabian women have challenged the ban and were issued traffic tickets or even jailed as a result.

However, there are still countless - frankly, odd - things that women are not permitted to do in Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most backwards being the inability to do basic things (like travelling) without the approval of a male guardian. However, a new announcement allowing women to start driving signifies a significant expansion of women's rights in the country.

"That is the real challenge to society, how they accept having women as full citizens and practise and exercise their right", she said. There will be an impact on the two premier ride-hailing services that have benefitted from the laws preventing women from driving. "In order to divert attention from this incident, we will find the women driving is now going to be headlines across the globe".

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