The King of Saudi Arabia has issued a decree allowing women to drive, state media has announced.
In a royal decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the order said it will be effective immediately.
The decree said that women would be allowed to drive “in accordance with the Islamic laws”. (We assume this means on the right side of the road, or the law, given that this is a regime that uses and abuses Islamic law all the time.)
Don’t praise King Salman for women being allowed to drive. Praise the many brave Saudi women’s rights activists who fought to drive.
— Zab Mustefa (@ZabMustefa) September 26, 2017
The decree mandates the creation of a ministerial body to give recommendations on “the practicalities of the edict” within 30 days and a full implementation of the order by June 2018. Although, why authorities need until June 2018 to organise is beyond us.
You want a statement here is one: “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop” #Women2Drive ❤️
— منال مسعود الشريف (@manal_alsharif) September 26, 2017
Anyway, the response on social media was pretty epic.
— بثينة العزابي (@Boutaina) September 26, 2017
Very few people were willing to “thank” or “praise” Saudi authorities for changing a law that never made sense in the first place.
It was the activists, many of whom were arrested for driving who forced the change. Also, Saudi is receiving a battering image-wise, so changing this law could assist in changing their image worldwide. Except, Yemen is still being bombed by a Saudi-led coalition, if you haven’t noticed, and the absurd Gulf stand-off is still causing a ruckus in the region.
I am actually incredibly proud of the brave activists in Saudi Arabia who have been fighting hard for women’s rights there. It matters.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 26, 2017
Sorry but a freedom granted at the whim of male monarchs who use Islam to justify misogyny is like a bow on a pair of handcuffs #Saudi
— Rafia Zakaria (@rafiazakaria) September 26, 2017
Of course, the reality is that Saudi Arabia may have decided to bring their laws up to speed (see, what we did there?) when it comes to allowing women to drive, but it has a long, long, long road to go before it can be recognised as anything other than a pariah. Women can now drive in the Kingdom. But so what? There should never have been such a daft law in the first place)
It’s just so gross to me that Saudi Arabia sits on the board of women’s rights in the UN but has just now in 2017 decided to let women drive
— جانم فداى ایران (@SanazMashhadi) September 26, 2017