Saudi Arabia Issues First Driver’s Licenses to Women
By: Phelicia Ball
Did you know that the only country that women cannot legally drive is Saudi Arabia? Until today that is. Today that all changes as ten women make history by obtaining their Saudi driver’s licenses.
Having previously received licenses from other countries, these 10 women swapped out their foreign licenses for Saudi ones. The decades-old ban will officially be lifted on June 24,2018. In anticipation, women across Saudi Arabia are preparing for this day by taking courses in order to receive their Saudi licenses right away. According to Time, some are even training to become drivers for Uber.
Activists who campaigned for this right however, remain in custody and are facing possible trial.
Lawfully, Saudi Arabian women must seek male permission to perform a variety of different tasks and for decision making. This includes permission to leave the country to travel. Rema Jawdat who received her license on Monday was quoted by the Saudi Information Ministry saying, “Driving to me represents having a choice – the choice of independent movement. Now we have that option.” In three weeks, Saudi women will be on the road to female empowerment.