Saudi Arabia on schedule to lift driving ban on women as planned on June 24

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A Saudi woman practices driving in Riyadh, on April 29, 2018, ahead of the lifting of a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia in the summer. In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a ban on women driving — the only one of its kind in the world — as of June 2018. (AFP/Yousef Doubisi)
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A Saudi woman practices driving in Riyadh, on April 29, 2018, ahead of the lifting of a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia in the summer. In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a ban on women driving -the only one of its kind in the world — as of June 2018. (AFP / Yousef Doubisi)
Updated 08 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia on schedule to lift driving ban on women as planned on June 24

  • Women 18 years of age and older will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license
  • Driving schools for women have been set up across five cities in the kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24, the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed Al-Bassami said on Tuesday.
“All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established,” Bassami was quoted as saying in a statement released by the government.
In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving — the only one of its kind in the world.
Women 18 years of age and older will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license, Bassami said.
Driving schools for women have been set up across five cities in the kingdom, and teachers will include Saudi women who obtained their licenses abroad.
Women with foreign driving licenses will be able to apply for a local one through a separate process, which will also assess their driving skills.
“It is no secret that many women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hold driving licenses from abroad,” the statement added.
Saudi women have previously petitioned the government for the lifting of the ban, and even taken to the wheel in protest.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is seen as the force behind the lifting of the ban, part of a series of reforms being pushed by the powerful royal in the conservative kingdom.
His Vision 2030 reform plan for a post-oil era seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from about 22 percent now.
The decision to allow women to drive could give them the much-needed mobility to join the workforce.
Saudi women now no longer need male permission to start business.
But Saudi activists say social change will only be cosmetic without dismantling the kingdom’s rigid guardianship system, which requires women to seek permission from a male relative to study, travel and other activities.


Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

Updated 18 July 2019
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Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

DUBAI: Newly appointed Saudi Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema bint Bandar met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss opportunities to further strengthen the countries’ partnership.

The Saudi Arabian embassy in the US, in a tweet, said the two senior officials explored “ways to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s close partnership with the United States on countering the financing of terrorism, as well as US support for the Kingdom’s economic reforms.”

 

 

Princess Reema, who assumed her new office on July 4, earlier met with US President Donald Trump to present her credentials as the Kingdom’s top diplomat in Washington.

Princess Reema became the Kingdom’s first female ambassador after being nominated to the post on February 23 – to replace Prince Khaled bin Salman who was appointed deputy defense minister – and took her oath before King Salman in Riyadh in April.