November 2017 Church & State - November 2016

Around The World: Saudi Women Given Right To Drive

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Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive starting June 2018, marking a small advance for women in the officially Islamic kingdom.

The Sept. 28 royal decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was met with approval from women’s rights activists.

“It is amazing,” Fawziah al-Bakr, a Saudi university professor who was among the women protesting the driving ban since 1990, told The New York Times. “We have been waiting for a very long time.”

Observers noted that the ban on women driving was creating bad press for the country. It also hurt Saudi Arabia’s economy because it suppressed women’s ability to enter the workforce.

Although the decree signals a modest win for Saudi women, activists caution that there’s a long way to go toward gender equality in the nation.

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