Saudi Arabia Allows Women To Drive, Backs Down On Long-Standing Ban

Yemen News Agency (SABA

The kingdom had held out on allowing women to drive, despite a number of social openings and gains for women, including granting women the right to vote and run in elections for the first time in late 2015.

Over the years, Saudi clerics have come up with several explainations for banning the women drivers, with one claiming that driving harmed women's ovaries.

Aziza Yousef drives a auto on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, March 29, 2014, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving. "Ever since Mohammed bin Salman's rise, he has fast-tracked all the changes that are needed for our country", said Marwa Afandi, a 35-year-old event planner in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

Women were allowed to enter the stadium, a previously male-only venue used mostly for football matches, with their families and seated separately from single men to watch a musical show and a play on Saudi history.

In recent years, a number of activists defied the ban, leading to their arrests.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced that it would allow women to drive, state media reported.

NBC's Sunday night National Football League ratings dip from last year's week 3
Did this weekend's events have a dramatic effect on Sunday's games? Both networks tackled the political news of the weekend. It was a great Sunday of football and still the main story was what players did during the national anthem .

A woman drives a auto in Saudi Arabia Oct. 22, 2013.

In this documentary, The Times's Mona El-Naggar takes us inside the ultraconservative kingdom and into the largely inaccessible world of Saudi women.

"But some working Saudi women say that hiring private drivers to get them to and from work eats up much of their pay, diminishing the incentive to work", the report stated.

The committee has 30 days to provide its recommendations, the decree said, so that the new policy can be carried out starting on June 24.

Prince Khaled, the ambassador, said women would not need permission from their guardians to get a license or have a guardian in the vehicle and would be allowed to drive anywhere in the kingdom, including the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

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