.
.
.
.

Saudi envoy to US: Royal decree affirms women play central role in kingdom

Published: Updated:

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US, confirmed at a press conference at the embassy in Washington on Tuesday that Saudi women will be able to drive alone and won’t need their guardian’s permission to get a driver’s license.

Prince Khalid and the king’s son, said letting women drive is a “huge step forward” and that “society is ready.”

The announcement came in the form of a royal decree that was released on Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia is changing. We have dynamic leadership,” he said. “We are implementing our Vision2030 initiative through which we are empowering women and youth to play a greater role in the Saudi economy and take better advantage of the increasing opportunities that result from the Kingdom’s modernization and economic reform initiatives,”

The ambassador added: “The issue of women driving was never a religious or a cultural issue. 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. This was a societal issue. Today, we have a young and vibrant society and the time had come to make this move.”

“Over the course of our 87-year history as a nation, change and progress has been a constant. And today, through Vision2030, that change is moving at an even greater pace, in line with our religion and values, as we pursue our vision for a vibrant society with strong roots, a thriving economy less dependent on oil and an ambitious nation that can responsibly contribute to the security and prosperity of the world around us.”