By Camila Angeles
In Saudi Arabia women will finally be able to drive. Announced on September 27 2017, the change will be coming next summer amid the demands from women’s rights activists. Saudi Arabia, the only country that had banned women from driving, had gotten poor publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban. Since the 1990’s, women’s rights activists have been pushing for the right to drive. Some ultra conservatives in Saudi Arabia are against allowing women to drive. They said that it would lead to a corrupt society and it would be a sin.
Women in Saudi Arabia have been relying on male relatives to get to work, run errands, and to just get around. Recently, in major cities, women have been able to use apps such as Uber to get around. King Salman has decreed that women be issued driver’s licenses. However, women will not be able to get their license immediately. A committee is being formed to put the new order in place, and in June of 2018, the order will be effective.
Saudi Arabia has hesitated to allow women to drive despite the recent gains for women, such as the right to vote and run in elections in 2015. Saudi women’s wishes have finally been granted, and the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the new order is “a great step in the right direction for that country.”