Saudi Arabia Ends Ban On Women Drivers [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports:

Saudi Arabia says it will allow women to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The kingdom, which announced the change on Tuesday, was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban.

Women’s rights activists since the 1990s have been pushing for the right to drive, saying it represents their larger struggle for equal rights under the law.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency and state TV reported the news late Tuesday evening, saying a royal order was issued for both men and women to be issued drivers’ licenses. A committee will be formed to look into how to implement the new order.

Just yesterday The Economist posted a documentary short about the woman who made international news for defying the rule.

  • Dayglo

    Saudi women need their guardian’s permission for:
    marriage and divorce
    travel
    education
    employment
    opening a bank account
    elective surgery, particularly when sexual in nature.

    • Treant

      There’s a very, very slow erosion of the older “religious” “values” (it’s neither) as the old folks die off, it’s just several cycles behind us and a dozen cycles behind Europe.

      Plus we have a country who sees the reign of King Oil coming to an end and realizes it only has one other potential resource–technology. And you don’t innovate technologically by keeping half your populace ignorant and immobile.

      You’ll never hear it said by the rulers, but they do see the handwriting on the wall.

      • Mikey

        hopefully it’s “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”.

      • agcons

        I hope you’re right, because tapdancing Mahomet on a cracker . . .

  • Judas Peckerwood

    So will they have to have a male family member in the car with them? I’m assuming that that aspect of the theocratic patriarchy will remain in effect.

  • Joe

    waiting for DT to claim that he somehow made this happen

    • clay

      (Ivanka)

  • bambinoitaliano

    What about those giant llamas over there? Will they be allow to drive one of those?

  • Harveyrabbit

    Will they now ban Saudi citizens from flying into American skyscrapers?

    • Judas Peckerwood

      That was Saddam Hussein, silly.

      • Ham

        No it never happened, silly.

        • Randy503

          Obama let it happen.

          • Achilles Tsakiridis

            Actually it was her emails

          • GloriaEPresley

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          • LauraJHarris

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    • james1200

      Maybe they’ll also ban their fucked up government from executing 15 year old boys for being gay?

      Kidding…they’ll never do that! I’m just being silly. Also, fuck Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism in their motherfucking ass. I’m so sick of their 16th century bullshit.

  • Treant

    Women drivers? The next thing you know, they’ll want to go to school and read and stuff like that.

    • Silver Badger

      Yeah. They do tend to get uppity about that stuff.

      • Treant

        Silly women. Tracks are for dudes.

    • clay

      (SA has schools for women up to and including university.)

      • Treant

        (I know. I really have to put /s on everything even faintly sarcastic, I guess.)

        • clay

          Welcome to the era of Trump.

    • Chris Gardner

      or even run for President of these here United States. Gasp!

      • Treant

        Naw, never. The news media would tear her apart and foreign governments would intervene to stop that crisis from happening to us.

  • Ninja0980

    That’s nice but will they punish people who beat or kill the women that do so?

  • bambinoitaliano

    Does that mean OPEC will boost the oil production once again? Wanna bet some giant car maker are the one that pushes this idea. Here is a couple of models to choose from.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a11a7af6121d3f54cdf5030b2f60479b74ca899dc6160fedad5601c4a8227cc4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c9de9f6c1d0754dbed386d652ecaabcc1c621da54f192c56f1f96057f2956256.jpg

    • Paula

      Wow, that blue one is sharp. Is that the new Burka 2000?.

      • bambinoitaliano

        Think of the money you save from the car wash.

      • agcons

        Yes, and it comes with its own garage!

    • james1200

      One of my favorite gifs of all time! I said of all time!!

      http://forgifs.com/gallery/d/232429-3/Saudi-Arabia-women-burqa.gif

      • Philly Mike

        There go insurance rates through the roof!

        • james1200

          And here come the bad jokes about women drivers in Saudi comedy clubs and talk shows.

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen
    • Bluto

      I remember that stupid commercial!

      I’m old. Get off my lawn.

  • fuzzybits

    Will they still have to have a male with them in the car?

    • clay

      Since it’s considered “public” space, probably an adult male relative.

  • fkevin
    • DonnaLee

      Thank you, this is very entertaining.

  • fuzzybits

    A committee to see how to implement the new order? Just give the test and give the damn license,not hard.

    • clay

      But who would administer the test? They can’t have men testing women, and since they have no female driving examiners . . .

      • agcons

        As soon as they realise this they’ll cancel the implementation.

      • fuzzybits

        Well,guess they’ll just hand them out without a test then.

  • Canadian Observer

    Why do I suspect there is going to be a construction boom in the “Kingdom”? I can picture it now, duplicate roads, one for men and one for women.

  • Leo
    • Benny Cemoli βœ”Gold Verified

      Yeah. Whatever. People were 98% sure Hillary would be the 45th president of the United States. And look how that one turned out. I’ll wait for the actual indictments thank you very much.

  • Andymac3
    • Randy503

      You see, those straight while males are losing just EVERYWHERE!

  • downtownla

    I actually wished they had gone the other way and banned men from driving. Too gas guzzlers in the world already.

  • It is still a nasty, foul country driven by Oil and Oil’s fear of religious uprising, with frequent “honor” killings, misogyny, and social rule out of the 14th century.

  • JWC

    WOW !! At this rate in another 200-300 year they might accept GAYS

    • Benny Cemoli βœ”Gold Verified

      Nah. that’ll never happen. Not even in 1,000 years.

      • JWC

        hehe just a brief moment

  • AJD

    To be fair, they abolished slavery in 1962, whereas Mauritania didn’t until 1981 and continue so to unofficially tolerate it, so maybe they’re relatively progressive.

    • zhera

      In practice, they have slavery today. Those immigrant workers who have no rights, no means of leaving (employer will take the passport), no means of complaining to authorities…

      Slavery.

      • whollyfool

        Women have few rights, no means of leaving, no means of complaining to the authorities.

        Slavery.

        • clay

          but not necessarily forced work.

          • whollyfool

            Possibly. In my mind lack of freedom is slavery. But I’ve been wrong before. πŸ™‚

          • clay

            I’m not posting this as definitive or judging your statement, just continuing the conversation. (Please disable gaydar to prevent mechanical damage.)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM6tVqvjMlo

          • whollyfool

            Exactly. A slave cannot leave without the consent of the master. Just like Saudi women cannot leave without the consent of their “guardians”….

            I don’t quite agree with his implication that just because it happens a lot (“every wife in England would be”) it’s not the case, although of course in that example, every wife in England is not a slave (it is to be hoped! πŸ™‚ )

  • Paula

    I wonder how long before the drive by attacks from motorcyclists with machine guns start happening to women driving?

    • clay

      or acid. Luckily, I imagine the desire for AC will keep the windows up, for that.

    • agcons

      I hope you’re wrong, but you’re probably right.

    • radiofreerome

      I wondered how long it would be before women started using the religious police as speedbumps.

  • agcons

    Wow, the march of progress is simply stunning.

  • Friday

    Time to go chop some Mercedes, ladies! πŸ™‚

  • clay

    Bedouin women have long ignored this law in practice– the Wahhabist religious police are focused on public life in the cities, so if you and your family live away from others out in the desert . . .

  • AJD

    Maybe they’ll start using guillotines instead of swords for public beheadings. Progress is progress!

  • Kenster999

    Obviously Saudi Arabia has been ultra-conservative for a long time. I read a while ago that the new king (who ascended after his father passed away a few years ago) is Western educated and wants many liberalization reforms, but he has to go slowly. This was a big step for them!

  • MBear

    think about the tragedy of all those women who will experience [insert whatever bizarre fantasy these freakish men thought would happen to women if they drove here]

  • katkelly57

    First off, mash’allah!

    2ndly…”A committee will be formed to look into how to implement the new order.”
    Why?
    Just use the system that’s been in place all along…only difference is that you now are taking a woman’s photo….dumbasses.

    Always gotta make things harder than they are.

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    I’m glad this was done. A lot of women don’t like to be driven around by strange men, which totally poops on the idea it was about keeping them safe. Also, even when not driving to work or school, a lot of women there wanted to drive to do things like pick up medicine for the older generation and be able to do things in emergencies, etc.

    It still boggles the mind that Mohammed’s first wife was a widow who ran her own damn import-export business, was HIS boss, was older than him AND had someone propose to him on her behalf yet his followers act like women can’t do anything.

  • JCF

    Inch by inch…