Saudi Arabia's Women Will Soon Finally Be Able to Drive

A giant success for women's rights


Happy business arabic lady in dark abaya and hijab driving her car and showing thumb up. Smiling arabian lady in sunglasses taking steering wheel of her new car.

(Ayoub kayor /

Women's rights activists all over the globe rejoiced last week when Saudi Arabia announced that it would soon allow women to drive, ending its dubious legacy as the only country in the world where women were forbidden by law from driving vehicles.

The surprising change in policy, which will take effect in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree read live on state television and immediately welcomed by women all over the world.

Apart from strengthening women's rights, Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace.

“It is amazing,” Fawziah al-Bakr, a Saudi university professor who was among 47 women who participated in the kingdom’s first protest against the ban in 1990, told the New York Times. Back then, she and the other 46 women were arrested for their daring display of protest.

“Since that day, Saudi women have been asking for the right to drive, and finally it arrived,” she said. “We have been waiting for a very long time.”

The long wait is apparently about to finally pay of and will hopefully bring about a whole host of much-needed and steps to ensure gender equality, both in Saudi Arabia and all over the world.

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