Saudi Arabia’s first women drivers blaze the streets [Videos]

Women across Saudi Arabia have been celebrating the lifting of a longstanding ban against women drivers in a variety of ways.  Hundreds of women who already have a driving license drove their cars for the first time in many years. The lifting of the driving ban has been hailed as a step in the right direction by all those who’ve been fighting for women’s rights in the country. Also, the lifting of this ban will likely create immense employment opportunities for women. For almost three decades, Saudi women were banned from driving in the highly conservative kingdom. While there wasn’t ever explicitly a law against women drivers in the country, the police banned women from driving. Also, no licenses were issued to women in almost the last three decades. Here are five videos that show women celebrating the end of this highly unfair ban –

Video 1

In this video, you can see the Arabs enthusiastically celebrating the lifting of the ban. There were cheers from the crowd as women drivers got behind the wheel for the first time in many years.

Video 2

In this video, a woman driver from Riyadh expresses her feelings after getting into the driver’s seat of a car. She says that she would like to thank “King Salman and his crown prince” for lifting the ban on woman driving. Furthermore, the woman goes on to say that ”the Saudi woman is one who is able to drive not just the car, but in all situations and times, the Saudi woman is educated, cultured, and brought up on customs and traditions, which can be applied on all streets, not just in the Kingdom.”

Video 3

One of the lady drivers even logged into the Uber driver’s app and became the first-ever female Uber driver in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. You can see her driving her Kia in the video we have above.

Video 4

In this video, Samira Al Ghamdi, a Saudi Arabian psychologist, gets behind the wheel of her BMW. She is really happy that women can once again drive freely. It’s a really historic moment for her as the world’s last remaining ban on women drivers has finally been lifted.

Video 5

In this video, you can see a Saudi woman driving a huge GMC SUV. Like others, she’s really happy to be able to drive freely. You can see her sporting a wide smile as she drives on the public roads of Saudi Arabia for the first time in many years.

The lifting of the ban on women drivers is really a huge milestone for the Saudi women, who have had to rely on male drivers for moving around. The Government of Saudi Arabia has started issuing driving licenses to all the women who already have a driving license from other countries. Such women need to take a small driving test before they are given their new licenses. Many women have even started taking driving lessons and are hopeful of obtaining a driving license in the near future. So far, the ultraconservatives in the country had opined that letting women drive would lead to sin and exposing them to harassment. Hence, ahead of lifting the ban on women drivers, the Kingdom passed a new law against sexual harassment of women.

Video Courtesy – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5