In a historic move to promote societal change and development in the country, Saudi Arabian women will be legally allowed to drive from Sunday onwards, part of a royal decree that had been first issued by the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, popularly known as MBS.
Although the decree had first been issued in September last year, the move was yet to be implemented, with it being challenged by arresting some of the most prominent female campaigners who pushed for women drivers to be on the road. The then Saudi ambassador to Washington Khaled Bin Salman was reported to have said that ‘women need to drive themselves to work’.
“Many men have vented their opposition to the decision to lift the ban using a Twitter hashtag that translates to ‘you will never drive,'” said Margherita Stancati and Donna Abdulaziz from the Wall Street Journal. “After the ban’s planned lifting was announced in September, a man was arrested for posting a video online in which he threatened to set fire to women and their cars if they dare to drive.”
The royal decree is part of the ‘Vision 2030’ unveiled by the crown prince, promising a diversification in the economy, cutting of economic flab and increase of women participation in workforce by 30 percent. The crown prince is controversially known for placing house royals under arrest in his anti-corruption drive and pushing for face offs against Iran and Qatar.
Currently, on the topic of women driving themselves, many are fearful as they do not know what it entails as one of the most disputatious laws of women not being allowed to leave the country without the permission of a male relative is still in effect.