Saudi Arabia will never be the same again, says a Saudi woman campaigner for the right to drive
Photo credit: BBC
Saudi women will at last be able to drive from June 24 next year. A decree to this effect has been issued by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.
Today this Gulf Kingdom is the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving a vehicle. Women who defied the ban were arrested and fined.
The royal decree has been greeted with applause from across the globe. American President Donald Trump has welcomed the move as “a positive step” towards the promotion of women’s rights.
Sahar Nassif, a Saudi woman who has for long campaigned for the right to drive told BBC she was “very, very excited, jumping up and down and laughing”. "I'm going to buy my dream car, a convertible Mustang, and it's going to be black and yellow!" she added.
The country's US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked.
He said it was "an historic and big day" and "the right decision at the right time".
Rights groups in Saudi Arabia have been campaigning for years demanding an end to the ban on women driving.
Manal al-Sharif, an organiser of the Women2Drive campaign who has also been imprisoned for driving, said on Twitter that Saudi Arabia would "never be the same again".
The hashtags "I am my own guardian" and "Saudi Women Can Drive" quickly gained traction on social media.