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Saudi Arabia Says It Will End Ban And Allow Women To Drive

A Saudi lady drives on a highway in 2014 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as partial of a debate to plea a country’s anathema on women driving.

Hasan Jamali/AP


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Hasan Jamali/AP

A Saudi lady drives on a highway in 2014 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as partial of a debate to plea a country’s anathema on women driving.

Hasan Jamali/AP

Updated during 5:10 p.m. ET

Saudi Arabia has topsy-turvy a long-standing and widely criticized anathema opposite women driving.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud released an sequence on Tuesday that paves a approach for women to obtain driver’s licenses, according to Saudi state media.

The aristocrat weighed a disastrous and certain points of a anathema on women driving, a central Saudi Press Agency wrote, while also creation certain that any new law was in correspondence with Islamic law. SPA pronounced a change was authorized by a infancy of a Council of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s top eremite body.

The kingdom’s Foreign Ministry announced a preference on a central Twitter account.

The new regulations, arising driver’s licenses to group and women alike, are set to be implemented by June. A cabinet will be set adult to investigate how to make a regulations.

According to a matter from a country’s embassy in Washington, D.C., preparations will embody “developing a infrastructure and institutional capacity, such as stretched chartering comforts and motorist preparation programs, to accommodate millions of new drivers.”

As NPR’s Deb Amos has reported, “Saudi Arabia is a usually nation in a universe that effectively prohibits women from driving, a anathema upheld by regressive clerics. While there is no law rigourously banning womanlike drivers, a supervision does not give them licenses.”

Challenges to a anathema gained steam in 1990, Deb says:

“In 1990, 47 women done a initial try to plea a ban. They all mislaid their jobs, were taboo from roving for years, and were shunned for their defiance.

“The subsequent plea came in 2011, when romantic Maha al-Qatani was a initial Saudi lady to get a trade ticket. The debate fizzled after some women were jailed for driving.”

U.S. State Department orator Heather Nauert pronounced of Saudi Arabia’s preference to finish a ban, “We’re positively happy to hear that. … we consider it’s a good step in a right instruction for that country.”

It’s value observant that Saudi women face a far-reaching array of laws underneath a masculine safekeeping complement that controls many aspects of their lives. According to Human Rights Watch, that complement “treats them as authorised minors, who can't control central supervision business, transport abroad, marry, pursue aloft education, or bear certain medical procedures but accede from men.”

Saudi’s central press did not fact how extenuation women a right to expostulate will work with honour to that complement — for example, either a male will need to pointer off on a lady removing a permit or even on holding particular automobile trips. However, Saudi Ambassador to a U.S. Khalid bin Salman tells NPR’s Michele Kelemen that women won’t need that form of permission.

Even with vital questions still unanswered, some Saudi women’s rights campaigners are dogmatic victory.

One of them, Manal al-Sharif, has been arrested for pushing in Saudi. On Tuesday, she wrote this on Twitter: “Saudi Arabia will never be a same again. The sleet starts with a singular drop.”