In a landmark decision announced by the Saudi General Department of Traffic (GDT), women in Saudi Arabia will be able to operate commercial vehicles, drive trucks and ride motorcycles. The law which will come in effect next year, treats women ‘at par’ with men.
- License plates and numbers will be gender neutral, with no special arrangements for women drivers.
- Women will go through the same process as men while obtaining commercial licenses.
- However, women seen violating traffic regulations or involved in road accidents will be dealt at special centers established and run by women.
Prior to this judgement, Saudi Arabia was the only country to restrict women from obtaining driving license.
The progressive reforms carried on by King Salman have won him praises from all around the world.
- On September 26, 2017, the Saudi King had ordered issuance of driver’s license for women in Saudi Arabia. The law will come in effect in June, 2018. The minimum age limit for obtaining driving license is 18 years. However, for public licenses and public work the age limit has been capped at 20 years.
- The country has opened gates for reform. Earlier this month, the king uplifted a ban on Cinemas after 35 years. To know more, Click here.
- Moreover, restrictions on women were relaxed as three sports stadiums permitted entry of women, this year.
Furthermore, plans to involve women in the functioning of the kingdom by 2030 are doing the rounds for quite some time now.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative nations in the world with strict laws guiding women. The country’s guardianship system, entitles women to seek ‘permission’ from any male member of the family for study, travel and other activities.
A call for action was the need of the hour. The above decision, has therefore, been welcomed as a breath of fresh air.