All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established

Saudi women will be permitted to begin driving in the kingdom from June 24, the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed al-Bassami stated on Tuesday.

“All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established,” Bassami was quoted as mentioning in a statement mentioned by the government.

In September 2017, a royal decree reported the end of a decades-long ban on women driving – the only one of its kind in the world.

Women 18 years of age and older will be permitted to apply for a driver’s licence, Bassami stated.

Driving schools for women have been started in five cities in the conservative kingdom, and teachers will include Saudi women who received their licences abroad.

Women with foreign driving licences will be capable of applying for a local one via a separate process, which will also check their driving skills.

The statement mentioned, “It is no secret that many women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hold driving licences from abroad.”

Saudi women have earlier petitioned the government for the lifting of the ban, and even taken to the wheel in protest.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is observed as the motivation behind the lifting of the ban, part of a series of reforms being pushed by the powerful royal in the conservative kingdom.

His Vision 2030 reform idea for a post-oil era looks to promote women to nearly one-third of the workforce, increase from about 22 percent now.

The decision to permit women to drive could provide them the much-needed mobility to join the workforce. Saudi women now no longer need male permission to begin business.

But Saudi activists state that social change will only be cosmetic without dismantling the kingdom’s rigid guardianship system, which needs women to ask permission from a male relative to study, travel and other activities.

 

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