Women in Saudi Arabia can rejoice now as they will now be allowed to drive in the country. King Salman issued an order on September 26th to allow women to drive cars on public roads. The historical decision strips the nation from the tag of being the only nation in the world where women were banned from driving.
It is a victory for women who stood up for their rights and dared to challenge socio-cultural repression. It all began on November 6, 1990, when Mrs. Madeha Al-Ajroush and 46 other women drove cars in defiance of 1957 in Riyadh.
Following that incident, Mrs Al-Ajroush and most of her supporters were sacked from their jobs, excommunicated from certain social circles and incurred harsh criticism from several clerics.
One noted cleric said that medical studies proved that driving a car harms the ovaries of women, ‘Haba’.
The Saudi government compared women driving to activities ‘disturbing public peace and opening venue to sedition’. The move is seen as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s strategy to shakeup the kingdom’s economy, society and reputation globally.