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How Saudi Women Driving Will Help Save Money

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According to Atallah, "Equality Now considers that, unless the male guardianship system is totally eliminated with all the discrimination and injustice it entails, women in Saudi Arabia will continue to be deprived of their fundamental and indivisible human rights".

Saudi Arabia: In this Saturday, March 29, 2014 file photo, a woman drives a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving. The decree has issued a ministerial committee to deliberate the measures needed for the implementation of the law.

The kingdom will issue driving licenses to women from next June, in the most striking reform yet credited to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the risk of a backlash from hardliners.

As part of this plan, the kingdom has seen incremental steps over the past few years to relax some of its restrictions on women, such as including women in the Olympics team, expanding employment options for women, limited participation in local elections, and introducing physical education to girls in schools.

Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for Cox Automotive in the USA who has studied the Saudi Arabian market, said families with the means likely already have enough vehicles because women are already being transported in them, with male drivers. A new policy implemented July 1 raising fees to renew residency permits that will reach $106 per month by 2020 already has many expats reconsidering living in the Kingdom.

The measure, which comes into force in June, is a fact after a long-running campaign by Saudi women and global human rights organizations to lift the ban, condemned as a symbol of oppression.

"We received this with lots of delight; it is a very symbolic step by Saudi Arabia toward strengthening the rights of women in the country", Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director for Arab States at UN Women, said. The hashtags "I am my own guardian" and "Saudi Women Can Drive" have also been used widely on social media.

Even abused women or "runaways" are arrested and forced to return to their abusive families. Saudi Arabian Government has lifted the ban on woman drivers.

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The real power in the Saudi decision is in the fact that it represents a change of "direction".

Without serious political reforms and real change in the laws, this decision is merely decorative for performance purposes.

But she added that the ultimate impact could be larger, because it would remove an impediment for women to work, making the economy more productive.

The decision is getting praises from all corners of the world.

"This is a positive step toward promoting the rights and opportunities of women in Saudi Arabia", the White House statement said.

"As Saudi Arabia's reliance on oil becomes untenable the kingdom will need a more productive workforce and that includes women".

“Saudi Arabia allows women to drive, ” tweeted the official account of the countrys Ministry of Foreign Affairs.