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LANDMARK DAY

Saudi women took to the roads minutes after the ban was lifted

Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving ends

RIYADH, June 24, 2018

Saudi women are officially allowed to get behind the wheel from Sunday (June 24), marking a historic day after a decades-old driving ban was lifted, media reports said.

A number of Saudi women got in the driver's seat for the first time in their country and steered through busy city streets in Riyadh just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted, reported NBC.

"I'm speechless. I'm so excited it's actually happening," Hessah al-Ajaji, who drove her family's Lexus after midnight, was quoted as saying in the report.

“We achieved history today. I have no words to describe how I feel,” said 54-year-old Aljohara al-Wabli, who at 12:01 am local time drove her son’s Toyota FJ Cruiser in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia, according to a WSJ report.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month, reported BBC.

It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives, it added.

"This is a momentous time in history and we are delighted to be able to welcome Saudi women 'to the front', to the driver's seat," said a statement from Ford Motor Company.
 
"We are thrilled to be part of this historical milestone, and have the opportunity to support women in the kingdom during such an extraordinary time," it said.
 
"This is a wonderful moment in history for women in Saudi Arabia because the moment you get behind the wheel of your own vehicle, life can change in so many positive ways. We look forward to supporting a whole new generation of women drivers in the kingdom," said Jim Farley, executive vice president and president, Global Markets, Ford Motor Company.
 
Ford Motor Company presented a video as a way of welcoming Saudi females to the front, and into the driver's seat, in an effort to recognise the hopes and aspirations of these women as they begin a new journey. Embracing the spirit of "geddam" -- a colloquial Saudi word, literally meaning "in front", or conversationally, to "go for it" - Ford hopes to inspire women in the kingdom to take on their journey.



Tags: Ban | licence | Driving | Saudi women |

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