Saudi woman drives Formula One auto on historic day

Saudi Women Gear Up For New Freedom As Driving Ban Ends Tomorrow

"I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream".

But veteran Saudi activist Hala Aldosari says women remained second-class citizens and criticised the crown prince's "piecemeal approach" as serving the interests of the elite at the expense of women from more restrictive families.

"Saudi Arabia has just entered the 21st century", he said to his granddaughters in the back seat in the video.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said ending the ban means "women will be more empowered and more mobile and I think they will participate more in the job market over time, so I think it's going to contribute to the employment of females in Saudi Arabia". The ban had relegated women to the backseat, unable to determine when and how to move around.

Out of 1.67 million foreign male domestic workers, 1.38 million of those are drivers in Saudi Arabia, according to the most recent official figures.

A Saudi woman practices driving in Riyadh in April, ahead of ban being lifted on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

Enaam Gazi Al Aswad is Careem's first Saudi female driver.

The lifting of the ban is part of a programme to modernise some aspects of Saudi society under the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.




Saudi Arabia is among the most conservative countries in the world and women have traditionally had much fewer rights than men. The driving ban had been a stain on the country's reputation and hindered women's ability to contribute to the economy.

The state-run al-Ekhbariya says no casualties were immediately reported. As a preparation for the repeal of the driving ban, the government there has also trained its first batch of women auto accident inspectors who would respond to accident involving female drivers.

The lifting of the ban has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.

Under the system, women need the permission of their closest male relative - husband, father, brother or even son - for most facets of life, including traveling, enrolling in school and in certain cases receiving medical attention. There's also a waiting list of several months for a courses in major cities where they are offered. The classes also cost several hundred dollars, far more than what men now pay.

She said: "Honestly I'm so happy about this decision".

However not all women will be in a position to obtain a driving license. "Some naughty guys, you know", she said, giggling shyly. "It is one of my rights and I will keep it in my purse", said 60-year-old Lulwa al-Fireiji.

"I have never been (anything) but a good citizen who loves her country and wishes for it nothing but the best".

In a report, the Gulf Research Centre said it was not immediately clear how much of the low labour participation rate for women was because of the driving ban.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sara Netanyahu charged with misuse of public funds
Jun 24, 2018 - 17:10
The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been charged with fraud relating to the alleged misuse of state funds. He has been interviewed three times by police over alleged involvement in the Case 4000 corruption scandal .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Clash of Titans: US, China trade spat and its impact on commodities
Jun 24, 2018 - 16:49
The Trump administration and China's leadership have threatened to impose tariffs on $50 billion of each other's goods. Trump's ire may be directed at a 10 percent import tariff on American cars sold in those countries.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Gareth Southgate Comments on Leaked Team Sheet Showing Alli Out, Rashford In
Jun 23, 2018 - 02:34
Alli would seem the only player sure to miss out against Panama, having picked up a slight thigh strain against Tunisia. They were supposed to be relaxing because we let the players have a bit of time off and I am causing them work.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Reggie Miller on why LeBron might choose the Clippers over the Lakers
Jun 23, 2018 - 02:10
Several important things to note about the logistics behind the trade. "We feel he's going to be a special, special player". But executing the Lakers' longtime goal of becoming a title contender this summer still will be no easy task.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top States can now force online retailers to collect sales tax
Jun 21, 2018 - 19:08
North Dakota that restricts states from collecting sales tax from retailers without a physical presence in those states. E-commerce now makes up about 10 percent of US retail sales, according to the Commerce Department.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top In wake of Solo, Lucasfilm putting Star Wars spinoffs on hold
Jun 21, 2018 - 19:00
Rian Johnson's new trilogy is still being worked on, as well as a series of Star Wars films from David Benioff and D.B. Future " Star Wars " anthology movies like " Rogue One " and " Solo " may not be coming to theaters any time soon.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Neymar misses training for Brazil
Jun 20, 2018 - 19:28
Add Brazil to the list of highly-ranked teams struggling out of the gate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation . Swiss captain Stephan Lichtsteiner has urged his team-mates not to show five-time world champions Brazil too much respect.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ronaldo goal earns Portugal 1-0 victory over Morocco
Jun 20, 2018 - 19:23
He was too strong for marker Manuel Da Costa and found space in the goalmouth to meet Joao Moutinho's cross after a corner. The FC crew examine how Cristiano Ronaldo has adjusted his game with age to remain one of the world's elite players.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China to retaliate after United States imposes tariffs on $50 billion in imports
Jun 19, 2018 - 23:09
Donald Trump has approved a plan to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as early as Friday. The administration is leaving the door open to further tariffs on agricultural goods and other products.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Griezmann wins Man of the Match award
Jun 19, 2018 - 23:06
Luka Modric scored the penalty kick, sealing the win for Croatia , and putting them to the top of the standings in Group D. Many watching felt replays showed that Risdon did get the faintest of touches on the ball. "But I am not anxious ".

Sheriff: 5 dead in Texas border crash
Jun 18, 2018 - 05:41
That agent stopped one vehicle and radioed a description of the other two vehicles to other agents, the agency said. Mr Boyd said the driver and one passenger were believed to be USA citizens.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Russia World Cup to generate a staggering $6 billion for Federation Internationale de Football Association
Jun 17, 2018 - 05:18
The North American bid beat the rival Morocco proposal, winning 134 votes to 65 for Morocco . With the successful bid , the men's World Cup will be coming to Canada for the first time .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Comcast Launches Bid For Fox, Can All-Out War With Disney Be Avoided?
Jun 15, 2018 - 01:21
Like Disney, Comcast is willing to divest Fox's regional sports networks if regulators demand it, according to company filings . It has been reported though that Fox execs are still leaning towards Disney and have asked their shareholders to do the same.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Canada, US & Mexico joint bid wins right to host tournament
Jun 15, 2018 - 00:21
The 1994 World Cup , the only one played in the USA , was the most financially successful and best-attended tournament in history. Five times they have bid, and five times they have been overlooked - Morocco are perhaps destined to never host a World Cup.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top FastStart on Xbox One will help you to play games faster
Jun 13, 2018 - 19:15
At E3 2018 , gamers took a deep dive on about ten games, including The Last of Us, Part II , Death Stranding and Spider-Man. Microsoft's executive president of gaming Phil Spencer says a gaming service accessible from any device is on the cards.