Health Care

United Nations chief welcomes Saudi Arabia's decision to lift ban on women drivers

United Nations chief welcomes Saudi Arabia's decision to lift ban on women drivers

In a royal decree, Saudi King Salman announced on September 26 that Saudi women, who have always been the only women in the world banned from driving, will have that right as of June 2018.

Loujain Hathloul was imprisoned for more than two months for driving a auto into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates in 2014. Some users shared images of black matte luxury SUVs.

Ghunaim said Tuesday's royal decree would ultimately help low-income families who now struggle to meet the financial burden of hiring drivers.

This is likely to have one major economic impact.

The decision by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to permit women to drive has produced widespread worldwide coverage, all of it praising the move. In many cases, however, women would not need to buy as they could use vehicles relinquished by departed chauffeurs.

The latest decree highlights how Saudi tries to reform its reputation that was damaged for not allowing the women to drive in public.

While, if implemented, lifting the ban on women's driving is a significant relief for Saudi women, it is nonetheless far from achieving equal rights and freedoms. German automaker Volkwagen's ad showed two hands on a steering wheel with intricate henna designs on the fingers with the words: "My turn".

While some took to Twitter and other social media to hail the move as a victory for womens rights in a kingdom governed by a strict interpretation of Sharia law, others seemed less than impressed. They were arrested and thrown in jail. They faced stigmatization, lost their jobs and were barred from traveling overseas for a year.

Research firm Capital Economics said that while increasing the female labour force will boost GDP growth, a number of hurdles could hinder their pursuit of employment, including the country's guardianship system. She hasn't driven in almost 30 years, she says, and her two daughters still need to learn how to operate a vehicle. The decision of Saudi Arabia is a great and well-calculated step toward modernity.

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The crown prince gave no data to back up his assertion.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said that women would be allowed to drive from the age of 18.

Women also face discrimination when it comes to child custody.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., confirmed at a press conference at the embassy in Washington on Tuesday that Saudi women will be able to drive alone and won't need their guardian's permission to get a driver's license. The drivers earn an average monthly salary of around $400, but the costs of having a driver are much higher.

Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for Cox Automotive in the US who has studied the Saudi Arabian market, said families with the means likely already have enough vehicles because women are already being transported in them, with male drivers.

Simply, it makes economic sense for women, not to mention strengthen the nation's economy, to be employed and to drive to their jobs.

In 2015, a total of $40.5 billion were transferred by foreign workers to their home countries.

Saudi Arabia, is an absolute monarchy ruled according to Shariah law.


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