A royal decree issued on Tuesday promising to give women their right to drive came amid a series of gradual steps undertaken by Saudi Arabia in the recent phase, as the historic decision comes a couple of days after opening sports stadium to women for the first time, taking part in the kingdom’s national day festivities.
This also comes with the appointment of Fatima Baeshn, first female spokesperson to the Saudi embassy in Washington, according to Al-Arabiya.
The driving revolution comes after much struggle and calls by activists, including the persecution of women who took the wheel. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a Facebook post where it announced the decision in several languages.
On social media, Saudi women welcomed the royal decree viewing it a great victory for their rights. Some men praised the decree believing it is accomplishment for mutual dignity. “A society with equal rights for men and women breeds mutual dignity,” tweeted a male student.
There were still some sexist comments whether in underestimating women’s ability to drive or sexual jokes and comics.
Analysts forecast the lifting of the drive-ban should also be beneficial to the country’s economy. According to CNN Money, women driving would for the very least saving drivers’ money, but also increase women’s presence in the workforce.
For a while now, Saudi Arabia has been pushing for reforms in women status, including their right to participate in local elections and Olympics.