Culture&Arts

Saudi women allowed to drive in latest reform push by prince

Saudi women allowed to drive in latest reform push by prince

26, the Saudi Foreign Ministry announced that a royal decree has been issued that will allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia.

The shock announcement comes after a years-long resistance from women's rights activists, some of whom were jailed for defying the ban on female driving.

Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington and the king's son, said that letting women drive was a "huge step forward" adding "society is ready".

Saudi Arabia has had a blanket ban on women driving, with those caught behind the wheel detained.

The decision came alongside others recently which were aimed at promoting women's rights, including a decision last week to allow women to enter the national stadium for the first time.

USA rate rhetoric spooks rand, dives 1.5%
Following on from last week's FOMC meeting, Yellen delivered a keynote speech in Cleveland yesterday, with the focus on inflation. An index of European banks rose 1.5 percent as the pan-European STOXX 600 share index rose 0.3 percent to a 10-week high.

It is the most significant change yet to a rigidly conservative social order in Saudi Arabia that has strictly demarcated gender roles, and severely limits the role of women in public life.

Both companies had seen the Saudi market as one of the most lucrative, especially with government plans to bring a further 1.3 million women into the workforce by 2030.

"King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud has issued a decree authorising the issuance of driver's licences for women in the kingdom", Saudi state television announced.

The move was welcomed by the U.S. State department.

"We're proud to have been able to provide extraordinary mobility for women in Saudi, and are excited by the economic opportunities this change could represent for them in the future", Uber said in a statement.

Lawmakers push, punch each other in Ugandan parliament
No station aired Wednesday's proceedings, but some posted clips of the brawls on their Twitter feeds. Nineteen people including Uganda's leading opposition figure, Kizza Besigye, were also arrested.

Although al-Sharif said more needs to be done to empower women in the kingdom and give females their "basic human rights", she did not belittle the driving breakthrough. "This was the one file and issue which Saudi women have fought not just years, but decades for". "We ask for nothing short of full equality for women".

In cases of divorce, women are only allowed custody of their children until they reach the age of seven (boys) and nine (girls). However, a new announcement allowing women to start driving signifies a significant expansion of women's rights in the country.

Other Twitter users pointed out that Saudi women are still under the male guardianship system, which among other things, prevents them from travelling without permission of the men in their family.

Saudi's move to allow women to drive was welcomed by the global community, and represents a significant for women activists in Saudi Arabia, and paves way for their ongoing struggle to fight for equal rights in the nation.

UN Human Rights Office criticises situation in Crimea
It added that the ban on the Mejlis "has infringed on the civil, political and cultural rights of Crimean Tatars". It says there is no accountability for these crimes, so violations continue with impunity.


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