Women will soon be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

Aziza Yousef drives a car on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, in 2014.
Image: Hasan Jamali/AP/REX/Shutterstock

On June 24, 2018, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive. 

The announcement came via state TV in Saudi Arabia, but was also announced in Washington, D.C., according to The New York Times. That, as the Times suggested, perhaps shows just how much the  monarchy wants the rest of the world to know they’re making a change. 

Saudi women who have sat behind the wheel in protest in recent years steadily brought global attention to the issue. In 2011, Manal al-Sharif uploaded to YouTube a video of herself driving in Saudi Arabia, talking about the ridiculous and dangerous situations a woman may encounter because she’s not able to drive. 

Tweeting on Tuesday, she sounded elated.

Her protest and other such campaigns may in part be why the nation’s government felt the need to publicize their change of heart at home and abroad.

Though women will soon be allowed to get driver’s licenses, it’s still not clear whether they will need a male relative’s permission to do so. 

If they will, such a thing would be in line with what’s known in Saudi Arabia as “guardianship” laws by which men legally control many aspects of their female relatives’ lives, such as whether they are allowed to work or leave the country. 

Despite her joyous tweets, al-Sharif seemed adamant that the guardianship laws should be the next to fall.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/26/saudi-arabia-lifts-ban-on-women-driving/