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Saudi women’s right to drive back in Shoura Council debate

As long as women conform to the Islamic regulations and the Traffic Law, they should have the full right to drive

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Two Saudi Shoura Council members reopened discussion on women driving in the country.

Shoura member Haya Al-Minai said she is proposing to amend Article 36 in the Traffic Law to state that driving is an equal right for men and women.

“I hope that our proposal to amend the Traffic Law will be voted on in the next Shoura Council meeting. Giving women the right to drive will increase their productivity,” said Al-Minai.

She said the success of women in municipal council elections is proof that women have the potential to contribute to the development of the Kingdom.

“Women occupying leading positions is no longer considered a cultural taboo. Women’s right to drive was proposed three years ago but the Shoura Council voted against it. However, I expect a different result this time around,” said Al-Minai.

As long as women conform to the Islamic regulations and the Traffic Law, they should have the full right to drive, she added.

Another Shoura member Latifa Al-Shaalan echoed similar views.

Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, was quoted as saying in a recent interview that Saudi society is proud of its mothers, daughters and sisters and it does not discriminate or undermine their capabilities to be pioneering members of society.

“A total of 20 women won municipal council elections this time. More and more women are working in various sectors and industries. A Saudi woman is now able to have any job she wishes in any sector and field of work. We do not have any obstacles,” said Prince Muhammad.

This article was first published by the Saudi Gazette on April 19, 2016.