Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Calls for “Urgent” End to Ban on Women Driving

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal called for an “urgent” end to the country’s ban on women driving. /File Photo

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal called for an “urgent” end to the country’s ban on women driving. The prince tweeted on his official Twitter account saying: “Stop the debate: Time for women to drive.”

 


Saudi Arabia is the only country in which women are not allowed to drive. Alongside the tweet, the Saudi prince also issued a statement which outlined his reasons for ending the ban.

“Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” Al Waleed said “They are all unjust acts by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion.”

The prince also justified his move by giving economic, social and religious reasons in which he stated that women “would have to remain dependant on foreign drivers, an alternative that exacts the cost from the family’s income, or else continue to take cabs which are also costly, and are driven by foreign drivers, which is a situation of concern to many Muslims who see it as a violation of Sharia law.”

He also that when women are not able to drive, they often have to depend on their husbands who have to leave their offices to take them to places, which “takes a toll on the national economy, for it undermines the productivity of the work force,” adding: “Having women drive has become an urgent social demand predicated upon current economic circumstances.”

The prince ended the statement requesting those with more prosperity and those who may object what he proposed to put themselves “in the shoes of those with limited means of middle class families, or those of low incomes, and who can ill afford the onerous financial burdens that accompany the hiring of a foreign driver. It is for them that I am advocating the cause of women driving. It is also because of concern for the economic well-being and social welfare of our beloved country, Saudi Arabia.”

 

 

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