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Women in Saudi Arabia now legally allowed to Drive from Today

Women in Saudi Arabia now legally allowed to Drive from Today

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Khobar City on her way to Kingdom of Bahrain on June 24, 2018.

The move places Saudi women at the heart of a major transformation being spearheaded by the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to Gulf News, the Los Angeles-based singer was over the moon when she heard of Saudi Arabia's decision to let women drive legally, starting June 24.

In a few hours, she says she'll drive herself to work for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The ban had relegated women to the backseat, unable to determine when and how to move around.

Loujain al-Hathloul is one of six women jailed since mid-May for their activism - a month before the Saudi Government promised to lift the ban on women driving.

While Ms Worthem conceded that the biggest impact of the change would be on drivers, she doesn't expect the workforce to be completely wiped out.

Overturning the decades-long ban, a glaring symbol of repression against women, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's much-trumpeted reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate. They included women who fought for years to be able to dThe government has been keen to promote the end of the ban as a sign that women's rights are advancing after decades of global criticism. rive.

Some still face resistance from conservative relatives, and many accustomed to private drivers say they are reluctant to take on the country's busy highways.

Across the street, her neighbour had just arrived home with two bags of groceries.

Hoda al Helaissi is one of the first female members of the Shura council, the King's advisory body on all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia.

Part of this plan is to increase the number of women in the workforce, and it's thought that the driving ban would have made this more hard to achieve.

Although women can now drive in Saudi Arabia and don't need male permission to obtain a license, most will still need the support of a father or husband to drive. Many haven't had a chance to take the gender-segregated driving courses that were first offered to women only three months ago.

"I have freedom now to drive any time I want to drive, with income!" she enthusiastically explained, "It will help me financially, it will help me socially, it will help me to feel alive again and to go out, drive and meet people". Several other women are training at new state-run schools, and three million women are expected to drive by 2020.

"It was ideal. Everything was smooth, I felt I belong in the seat", she said afterwards. The situation is a far cry from Kenya where women have nearly equal rights to men except in the conservative north.

"We all know that culture does change with time", he said.

A Saudi interior designer and business executive, Al-Hamad had driven the vehicle, which Kimi Raikkonen drove to a victory in Abu Dhabi in 2012, earlier this month and her lap went smoothly Sunday. "It is one of my rights and I will keep it in my purse", said 60-year-old Lulwa al-Fireiji.