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Reactions pour in as Saudi moves to allow women to drive

Reactions pour in as Saudi moves to allow women to drive

The decision was widely celebrated on social media and other platforms

Saudi Arabian monarch King Salman’s decision to allow women to drive has been greeted by support from across the world.

The hashtag #SaudiWomenCanDrive quickly spread on Twitter as the decision was celebrated by women inside and outside the country alike.

But perhaps the most powerful statement came from activist Manal Al Sharif (main picture), who left Saudi Arabia after fighting for the right for women to drive.

“I’m sorry for not taking calls.. I’m in tears talking to my son.. I know I’ll have my both sons soon under the same sky.. #Saudi,” she said.

There were also several famous faces to react including Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to US President Donald Trump.

“Today was a historic day for women in Saudi Arabia as a decree was announced to lift the ban on women drivers. #SaudiArabia,” she said.

Another prominent voice was billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed, who in the past had spoken out in support of allowing women to drive.

Read: ‘It is high-time Saudi women drive’ – Prince Alwaleed

Sophie Le Ray, CEO of Naseba and founder of the Global WIL Economic Forum also sent out a statement.

“Last night’s announcement signifies a major step towards women’s economic advancement in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has gained a lot of momentum in this area in just a few short years and it is clear that the government is committed to driving this in the years to come. 

When women contribute fully to the economy of a nation, all of society stands to benefit. This is great news for the country.”

Lina Almaeena, a Shoura Council member, told Arab News:

“This historic decision and announcement is really going to make a difference in many, if not most, Saudi families. Economically, it is going to decrease the burden on families; socially it will be much better for women to have control over their lives, not always waiting for a man who is no relation to her; or being in a car alone with a stranger whose background she is not aware of.”

And Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Khaled bin Salman, appeared jubilant.

“I think our leadership understands that our society is ready. I think it’s the right decision at the right time,” he said.

The royal decree ordered the formation of a ministerial body to give advice within 30 days and then implement the order by June 24, 2018,

Women will be able to obtain a licence without permission from their male guardian and be allowed to drive without a male guardian in the car.

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