Saudi officers hand out roses to women drivers in historic moment

Jun 25, 2018, 01:26
Saudi officers hand out roses to women drivers in historic moment

Majdooleen, who is among the first Saudi women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, drives her mother to work in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia June 24, 2018.

"I have goosebumps", she says as she turns onto the King Fahd highway, the main road in the Saudi capital. But it came fast. "I'm not used to this", said Majdooleen al-Ateeq, 23.

Another driver, Hessah al-Ajaji, told the Associated Press, "I'm speechless". One said, 'Sister drivers, we wish you safety always'.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia issued its first driver's licenses to 10 women who already had licenses from other countries.

After midnight Sunday, Saudi women finally joined women around the world in being able to get behind the wheel of a auto and simply drive.

Not all women are driving at once, though. Now, they don't need private chauffeurs or male relatives if they want to go for an outing.

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It adds that the new law means numerous 1.5 million Saudi women who are at school or are in training can join the labour force in the years to come.

Videos and pictures have also emerged of security forces handing out roses to women drivers. "Recognizing this, the Saudi administration made raising the female participation rate one of its main targets in the National Vision 2030 program, created to modernize Saudi society". With the promise of greater independence, many women across the conservative kingdom signed up for driving lessons and road safety education classes at universities.

Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24, ending the world's only ban on female motorists, a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists.

Some, like 30-year-old Faisal Mohammed, who lives in Saudia Arabia's Eastern Province, support the prince's bid for transformation. "We just have to dream to have more women in all job sectors of motorsport". The opening of the market to foreign investors.

Saudi Arabia's attempts at bringing changes in society have been a topic of discussion for a while now. "But overall, they seem to welcome change".

The move, however, coincided with a sweeping crackdown on female activists who long opposed the driving ban.

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Among the detainees were three women who participated in the 1990 protest. The young man recently flew into the United Kingdom from Saudi Arabia with a number of his friends.

A shadow has been cast over King Salman's reforms.

Saudi law enforces a strict form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism and is known for its gender segregation rules.

The Saudi authorities previously said they expected about 2,000 women to have received licences by the time the ban was lifted.

"I see that this decision will make women equal to men and this will show us that women are capable of doing anything a man can do", said Fawaz al-Harbi. She also was the first woman to import a Ferrari into Saudi Arabia and has taken her 458 Spider to tracks around the country for workshops and track days. According to Cohen, al-Jubeir said no other country has "that soft power".

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