The new rules will be implemented by June 2018. Women danced in the streets in celebration. It’s also expected the guardianship system, under which women must have a male guardian, to be ended soon. “It’s not just a social change, it’s part of economic reform,” ambassador Prince Khaled bin Salman said. In the decree, King Salman spoke of the “negative consequences of not allowing women to drive” and “the positive aspects of allowing it”. Saudi women have been fighting for the right to drive for decades.
Women in Saudi Arabia
Aziza Youssef, a prominent Saudi women’s rights activist, said the decision was a “great first step.” The change may be the most visible sign yet of a modernizing Saudi Arabia, with reforms implemented by the heir apparent to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Samid Hadid, the deputy Middle East director for Amnesty International, tweeted: “Huge congrats and credit to the brave women who fought for this. May this be the start of more freedoms for women in Saudi Arabia.” Over the past year, the government has restricted the powers of the religious police and decreed that women and men working for the government receive equal pay.