Why did Saudi Arabia lift the driving ban on women only now?

Starting today, women in Saudi Arabia are finally able to drive legally after a long-standing ban was lifted by a royal decree. This system has stripped Saudi women of the rights that most Muslim women elsewhere enjoy. The women who fought the driving ban are now in jailAlthough public dissent is often suppressed in Saudi Arabia, there have been women who have struggled against gender injustice and discrimination. Even as the regime pretends to reform the Saudi society, they continue to demand total control over Saudi women. King Salman is still the same man who harshly punished 47 women for defying the driving ban.

'Free like a bird': Saudi women start driving as longstanding ban ends

Saudi women are officially in the driver's seat for the first time ever. For nearly three decades, outspoken Saudi women and the men who supported them had called for women to have the right to drive. Ultraconservatives in Saudi Arabia had long warned that allowing women to drive would lead to sin and expose women to harassment. Ahead of allowing women to drive, the kingdom passed a law against sexual harassment with up to five years prison for the most severe cases. Criticism against women driving has largely been muted since King Salman announced last year that they would be allowed to drive.

'Free like a bird': Saudi women start driving as longstanding ban ends

Saudi women driving ban finally lifts in landmark day

as mentioned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (CNN) Saudi women drivers took to the roads legally Sunday for the first time in the kingdom's history, as its decades-old ban on women driving finally lifted. Women and their families began tweeting photos and videos of women driving and celebrating as the ban lifted. 'Women can't drive'The kingdom had already issued its first driver's licenses to a handful of Saudi women, in exchange for ones they acquired while overseas. She believes that "90% accept women driving," she said, adding: "They chose the right time to allow women to drive. Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that two more women's rights campaigners had been arrested in recent days "in what appears to be an unrelenting crackdown on the women's rights movement."

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