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Saudi Arabia’s women drivers get ready to steer their lives

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia: On June 24, when Saudi women are allowed to drive for the first time, Amira Abdulgader wants to be sitting at the wheel, the one in control, giving a ride to her mother beside her. “Sitting behind the wheel (means) that you are the one controlling the trip,” said the architect, dressed in a black veil, who has just finished learning to drive. “I would like to control every single detail of my trip. I will be the one to decide when to go, what to do, and when I will come back.” Abdulgader is one…

First Saudi women get driving licences

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Monday began issuing its first driving licences to women in decades, authorities said, just weeks before the historic lifting of the kingdom's ban on female motorists. Ten Saudi women swapped their foreign licences for Saudi ones in multiple cities, including the capital Riyadh, as the kingdom prepares to end its ban on June 24. The move, which follows a government crackdown on women activists, is part of a much-publicised 'liberalisation' drive launched by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin…

Saudi Arabia to lift driving ban on women from June 24

RIYADH: Saudi women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24, the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed al-Bassami said on Tuesday. "All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established," Bassami was quoted as saying in a statement released by the government. In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving -- the only one of its kind in the world. Women 18 years of age and older will be allowed to apply for a…

Saudi cleric says women ‘lack the intellect’ of men, calls for upholding driving ban

RIYADH: Religious edicts, popular among them ban on women driving, are no strange concept in the context of Saudi Arabia and often they end up becoming a debate point with no conclusion whatsoever. A cleric in Saudi Arabia has called to keep the ban against women driving there, after claiming that their “lack of intellect” compared to men meant they should not be in control of a car. Sheikh Saad al-Hajari said that they had just half the brainpower of males – but this fell to a quarter when they “went to the market”.…