Saudi Arabia Starts Issuing The Driving Licenses To Women: Saudi Arabia on Monday (Jun 4) began issuing its first driving licenses to women in the decades, authorities say, just weeks before the historic lifting of the conservative kingdom’s ban on the female motorists.
Saudi Arabia Starts Issuing The Driving Licenses To Women
Ten Saudi women swapped their foreign licenses for Saudi ones in the multiple cities that is including the capital Riyadh, as the kingdom prepares to end its ban on Jun 24.
The moves which follow a government crackdown on the women activists is part of a much-publicised liberalization drive launched by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he seeks to modernize the petrostate.
Ten Saudi women made history on Monday when they are issuing the driving licenses, says the information ministry’s Centre for the International Communication.
Expectations are that next week is an additional 2,000 women will join the ranks of licensed drivers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The official Saudi Press Agency says the swap came after the women applicants are makes to undergoing a practical test, but it did not offer the details.
It is a dream which is coming true that I am about to drive in the kingdom of Rema Jawdat which is one of the women to receive a license, was quoted as saying by the Centre for the International Communication.
Driving to me is represents having a choice which is the choice of independent movement. Now we have that option, adds Jawdat, who is an official at the ministry of economy and planning and who has previous driving experience in the Lebanese and Switzerland’s people.
In preparation for the lift of the ban, Saudi Arabia has last week passed a landmark law to criminalize the sexual harassment, which introduces a prison term of up to the five years and the maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals that in the US money of $80,000.
REFORMS AND CRACKDOWN
Saudi Arabia is an only country in the world, where women are not allowed to drive, has long faced global criticism for what it seems as the oppression of the women.
But Prince Mohammed, who has recently undertaken a global tour aiming at reshaping his kingdom’s austere image, has sought to break with the long-holding restrictions in the women.
The self-styled reformer has also ended a decades-long ban on cinemas, allowing mixed-gender concerts and clipped the powers of the long-fear religious polices.
But the casting of a shadow on his reforms, Saudi Arabia last week says it is detaining 17 people for “undermining” the kingdom’s security, in what campaigners have dubbed a sweeping crackdown against the activist.
Right groups have identified many of the detainees as women campaigners for the right to drive and to end the conservative Islamic country’s male guardianship system.
It is welcoming that the Saudi authorities have finally issued licenses to the women, but the very women who are campaigns for this for years are now behind bars instead of behind the wheel is tweeted Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of the battles.
The government must release the license now.
Authorities say eight of the detainees had temporarily released until their investigation is completing.
Nine suspects, including four women, remain in custody after they confessed” to a slew of charges such as suspicious contact with “hostile” organizations and recruiting people in sensitive government positions, according to SPA.
Previous reports in state-backed media branded some of the detainees’ traitors and agents of the Embassy.
The Campaigners have dismissed the reports as a “smear” campaign, and the crackdown has sparked a torrent of global criticism.
The European Parliament last week approved a resolution calling for the unconditional release of the detained activists and other human rights defenders while urging a more vocal response from EU nations.
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