Happy With Driving Permit, But More To Be Done: Saudi Activist
Manal al-Sharif, who was once jailed for driving, is very happy that Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on women driving. She says that there is more to come.
The activist had posted a video of herself on YouTube, and was then forced to flee the country, after being in jail for a week.
On the news of women being able to drive, she said, “This is huge. There is nothing really more difficult than this fight for women to drive because it touches every single woman.This is the one that emancipates them.”
She said that there is a lot more work to be done. The victory doesn’t mean that women are now seen as equal to men in the conservative country. As long the male guardianship system remains in place, she said, women will continue to live as second-class citizens
In Saudi Arabia, women must ask their male guardians to travel, get medical help and get married, among other things.
“You cannot empower women to become anything in your country if she still needs a man’s permission,” she said “That is the real challenge to society, how they accept having women as full citizens.”
The activist also said that many will not accept this new ruling.
“That is the real challenge to society, how they accept having women as full citizens and practise and exercise their right,” she said.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry announced that a royal decree has been passed which will allow women to drive in the country. A committee which will implement the decree has been formed, and they will present recommendations within 30 days. The government will then have until June 24, 2018, to implement the new ruling.
The move comes as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan. It aims to diversify the country’s economy away from oil. The plan has a number of programs that will lift women up.
Also Read: Finally! Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive