The King of Saudi Arabia has issued an official order to allow women in the country obtain driving license. This comes barely a week when a senior Saudi Sheikh said women in the country should not be allowed to drive because they have “a quarter the brainpower of men.”
The royal order however, will allow women to drive in accordance with the Islamic laws. A high-level committee of ministers has been established to organize the implementation of the order. Information from the Saudi State TV said the changes would take effect from the month of June 2018.
However, Saudi ambassador to United States reportedly said that Saudi women in the Arabian Gulf states would be allowed to drive immediately in the country.
Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to ban women from driving the lift ban decision evoked feelings of disbelief and euphoria among the activists in the Kingdom. Dr Madawi al-Rasheed, a Saudi Scholar congratulated the women activists in a tweet and wished for “political and civil rights and an elected government” to follow.
She also warned the decision was mainly aimed at diverting attention from Saudi Arabian human rights abuses, the likes of arresting political critics.
Loujain Halthoul, a Saudi activist who got imprisoned for 72 days in the winter of 2014 for attempting to cross the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) border into Saudi Arabia in her car tweeted two words: “Thank God”. She and another woman called Maysaa al-Amoudi who also got detained have been credited with successful campaigning against the driving ban.
Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest car accidents rates despite the fact only men drive.