DOHA: With Saudia Arabia lifting its longstanding ban on women driving, females from Sunday onwards can legally get behind the wheel of a car.
The religiously conservative kingdom, which has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, started issuing its first driving licences for female motorists earlier in June, as per Al Jazeera.
Last September, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directed the move with an aim to reform the country.
Women’s rights activists welcomed the move but claimed that there were still many hindrances for women wanting to get behind the wheel.
“The fees for having lessons are six times more than men. This is one of the restrictions and this makes women not being able to access driving licenses in a fast way, in addition to the limited driving schools in Saudi Arabia,” Al Jazeera quoted Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East consultant for the Equality Now non-governmental organisation as saying.
However, special driving schools have been set up for women. Car showrooms are filled with female buyers, and events are being held in Riyadh to encourage these new female drivers.