Reactions pour in as Saudi moves to allow women to drive
00:13, Sep 28, 2017
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The permission for women to drive comes at a time when the country has been undertaking reforms.
Washington is a firm friend of the Saudi kingdom, but has often been embarrassed by its ally's conservative religious and social attitudes. Still, lifting the driving ban on women could help the country's worldwide reputation.
"This decree is huge for Saudi Arabia", BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says. "We're happy. We're certainly happy to hear that". Only two days ago, for the first time in history, Saudi Arabia allowed women to go to the stadium to participate in celebrations for the 87th anniversary of the kingdom's foundation.
"We will continue to support Saudi Arabia in its to efforts to strengthen Saudi society and the economy through reforms like this and the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030". "We also need to see a whole range of discriminatory laws and practices swept away in Saudi Arabia including the guardianship system where every woman has a male guardian, be it their father, brother, husband or son, having authority to make decisions on her behalf", Luther said. Her act was featured in the Frontline documentary "Saudi Arabia Uncovered", which showed footage captured secretly of alleged human rights violations inside the Kingdom. Women will be allowed to obtain licenses without the permission of a male relative.
The secretary-general of the United Nations has welcomed Saudi Arabia's move allowing women to drive in the Kingdom beginning next summer.
Many of those same ultra-conservative clerics, who wield power and influence in the judiciary and education sectors, have also spoken out in the past against women driving, playing sports or entering the workforce.
The kingdom's dress code requires women to wear an abaya (cloak) and veil, though the latter is selectively enforced.
Nauert is calling it "a great step in the right direction for that country".
"Within the framework of the visit of the King of Saudi Arabia to Russian Federation, the RDIF with Saudi partners will announce the creation of new investment platform in the energy sectors, as well as investments in the industrial and infrastructure sectors", Dmitriev told reporters.
Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, is a Muslim monarchy ruled according to Shariah law.
Aziza Youssef told The Associated Press by phone from Riyadh that she was "really excited" about Tuesday's announcement, calling it a "good step forward for women's rights".
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