Saudi women get to drive

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia, on Oct 22, 2013.
A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia, on Oct 22, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

Saudi Arabian women awoke to news of a royal decree permitting them to drive from next year, and some were already behind the wheel yesterday, even though licences will not be issued for nine months.

"Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop," Ms Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested in 2011 after a driving protest, said in an online statement.

Online videos showed a handful of women driving cars overnight, after King Salman's decree was announced late on Tuesday.

The move represents a big crack in the laws and social mores governing women in the conservative Muslim kingdom.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Saudi women get to drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe