Saudi Arabian Women Drivers Will Get Their Chance on June 24th
It has been months since the Saudi Arabian government made its decree that women in the kingdom would finally be able to earn their driver’s licenses, and we finally know the exact date that women can start taking their drivers exams: June 24th.
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According to the Straits Times, the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed al-Bassami said, “All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established.” Women that are 18 years of age and older will be eligible to apply for a driver’s license, and there are five cities with driving schools for women to study and practice for the test. If women have driver’s licenses from other countries, there is also a separate application process that still requires a skills assessment before the government will award the new license.
Once the driving ban lifts, it will be interesting to see how this influx of female drivers changes Saudi Arabia. Predictably, car sales in the country will probably rise, but it’s exciting to consider the increased freedom a driver’s license will give women and what they might choose to do with this new ability.
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It’s no secret that we are very excited about women finally being able to drive in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (if you can’t tell from our extensive coverage of the topic). In recent weeks, activists for women drivers were arrested and smeared in the press, leaving leaders like Manal al-Sharif afraid to return to their country. We’ll keep an eye on the coverage coming out of the Middle East and let you know if anything changes.
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