Saudi Women Allowed to Drive Trucks and Motorcycles

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Women Driving in Saudi Arabia

Woman Defying the Driving Ban in Saudi Arabia/CC

Saudi women will also be able to drive motorcycles and trucks from June 2018, clarified the authorities, nearly three months after the announcement by Ryad of the lifting of the ban on women driving.

In the ultra-conservative kingdom, however, women are still severely restricted and, in particular, are subject to the guardianship of a man in their family to study or travel.

“We will allow women to drive motorcycles and trucks,” said Friday evening the Directorate General of Traffic, responding to a set of questions regarding the royal decree unveiled in September, according to the official press agency SPA.

Asked about the possibility of distinguishing drivers from different plates, she said there would be “no distinction”.

In the case of serious offenses or accidents, however, female drivers will be taken to a police station reserved for women only, she said.

By the end of September, the international community had hailed the “historic” decision of the Saudi kingdom, the only country in the world to ban women from driving.

This measure, demanded since the 1990s by activists, some of whom have been arrested for defying the ban, must come into force from June 2018.

The decision bears the imprint of the young Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salmane, architect of a vast program of economic and social reforms called “Vision 2030” which aims in particular to increase the participation of women in the workforce to 30% in 2030, against 22% currently.

Recently, the country revealed plan to allow women to attend sports events as well starting next year.

In addition to bringing millions of new motorists on the roads, Ryad’s decision could have a significant impact on the Saudi economy, seriously affected since mid-2014 by the fall in oil revenues.

In Saudi Arabia, unemployment is very high among women because of their total dependence on male drivers.


Shakes Gilles

Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Talking Democrat.