Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Will Finally Let Women Drive

The long-standing ban has been deeply unpopular abroad and is often pointed to as proof of Saudi Arabia’s repressive rule.

by VICE News
27 September 2017, 8:27am

Aziza Yousef steps out of her car after driving on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, March 29, 2014, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving. Photo by Hasan Jamali/Associated Press

Saudi Arabia will soon allow women to drive, King Salman decreed Tuesday, in a move that ends the kingdom's reign as the only country in the world that forbids women from obtaining their driver's licenses.

The long-standing ban has been deeply unpopular abroad and is often pointed to as proof of Saudi Arabia's repressive rule. Saudi Arabia is no stranger to widespread criticism of its human rights record, and the kingdom's imprisonment of women who dare to drive has ranked high among its critics' list of complaints.

"I've said this to the Saudis many times: You really want to improve your image? There's one simple thing to do: Let women drive cars," former CIA analyst and Brookings Institution fellow Bruce Riedel told the Huffington Post before the ban was lifted. "I understand that's easier said than done."

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