Monday, 20 August, 2018

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive

Yemenis walk past a building housing branches of the Finance Ministry and Central Bank that was heavily damaged in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in the northern province of Saada Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive
Lamar Ellis | 27 September, 2017, 01:55

Yemen descended into a conflict two years ago after Houthis, associated with former President Saleh, and with the support of Iran took control of capital Sanaa, forcing Hadi to flee briefly to Saudi Arabia before coming back to the country's second city of Aden.

The plan to allow women to drive is still developing, however, as Saudi Arabia does not now have any legal methods by which women can obtain licenses or learn how to drive.

In fact, the majority of the members of the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom agree that Islam does not ban women from driving.

The shift comes several months after the Saudi king named a new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Ending the ban on women driving is expected to face some resistance inside the kingdom, where families are highly patriarchal and some men say they worry about their female relatives getting stranded should their cars break down.

Low oil prices have limited the government jobs that many Saudis have long relied on, and the kingdom is trying to push more citizens, including women, into gainful employment.

"The next challenge came in 2011, when activist Maha al-Qatani was the first Saudi woman to get a traffic ticket".

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that the department was pleased with the announcement and that lifting the ban is a good sign. I think it's a great step in the right direction for that country.

"The military solution is the more likely one for the Yemen crisis in light of the intransigence of the Houthi and Saleh coup militias which continue to take orders from Iran", Hadi said in the interview, according to a text provided by the Yemeni state-run Saba news agency.

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