In welcome news, a senior Saudi prince is questioning a ban on women driving. He says by lifting the ban, the Gulf Arab state would help reduce their dependence on millions of foreign workers.
Ruled by the al-Saud family, along with clerics from the strict Wahhabi school of Islam, the state has banned women from driving, and they must be covered from head to toe while in public. As of late, the royal family as been bombarded with calls from activists about making changes, and already, they have brought about some political reforms.
A supporter of this reform is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Abdullah, who has said that by making this change, they would be able to send about 750,000 foreign drivers home.
“A lot of Saudi women want to drive their car in line with strict regulations and wearing a headscarf. But now they need a driver … This is an additional burden on households,” said Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
For the ban to be lifted, the government must consult with the country’s top Islamic scholars. As of right now, Saudi women must abide by a male “guardianship” system. This means they need to show permission from their guardian, usually their father, brother or husband, to travel to work.