Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saudi women get freedom to drive

At last, a decree will be issued by the end of this year to allow women in Saudi Arabia to get behind the wheel as the government lifts its longstanding ban on female drivers.

The decision comes as part of King Abdullah’s reform strategy despite objection from the extremists.

A new petition was handed to King Abdullah earlier this month urging him to end the restriction, and stating the “hope that 2008 will be the year in which Saudi women obtain their natural right to drive a car”.

Women will also be allowed to stay in hotels or furnished apartments without their male guardian, marking the end to further restrictions.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a circular to hotels asking that they accept women, providing their details are sent to a police station.

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