In a sweeping moment, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently shaken the world to the core with His Highness King Salman’s issuance of a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licenses—a move which is considered by many as a huge step for gender equality.
Until now, the country was known internationally as the last country in the world that did not allow women to drive. New Saudi ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said in a statement that following the decree, women would no longer be required to get permission from a legal guardian to obtain a license and would not need a guardian in the car when they drive.
The government is due to implement the decree until June 24 next year, and a committee has been established to present recommendations within a month.
A number of the recent reforms in KSA have been credited to the 32-year-old Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, the son of King Salman.
In late September, women—for the first time in history—were permitted to celebrate the country’s 87th foundation anniversary in the national stadium in Riyadh, in a special section exclusively for families.
Jeddah’s festive atmosphere even included folk dancing, fireworks, live music performances, and street celebrations—activities that have largely been out of sight in the country.
He has also attracted Six Flags to open a theme by 2021 in a new ‘Entertainment City’, which is being built in the southern part of the capital, alongside other initiatives designed for the country’s youth.