Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving about to end

BBC News | 6/23/2018 | Staff
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Saudi women are to be allowed to drive from midnight local time (21:00 GMT) after a ban comes to an end.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month.

Country - World - Women - Families - Chauffeurs

It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives.

However the move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive.

Women - Rights - Activists - Trial - Counter-terrorism

At least eight women's rights activists are being detained and could face trial in a counter-terrorism court and long prison sentences for their activism, human rights group Amnesty says.

They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women's driving rights.

Amnesty - Wider - Reforms - Saudi - Arabia

Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.

Human rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive.

Dozens - Women - Riyadh - Saudi - Women

Dozens of women were arrested for driving in Riyadh in 1990 and some Saudi women began posting videos of themselves at the wheel in 2008 and between 2011 and 2014.

There is genuine excitement in Riyadh, and a sense of anticipation. Women in floor-length black abayas and face veils have been taking driving lessons at universities. One young learner driver told us it was a "dream come true."

Men - Kingdom - Father - Daughters - Change

Men in this conservative kingdom have also been supportive. A white-haired father of three daughters said the change was "long overdue". A man in his...
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