repeal of women driving ban tests saudi reform drive
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

As he accelerates reforms, analysts say.

Repeal of women driving ban tests Saudi reform drive

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Repeal of women driving ban tests Saudi reform drive

Saudi Arabia has lifted a decades-old ban on women's leadership
Riyadh - Egypt Today

   Saudi Arabia's historic lifting of a ban on women driving will be a litmus test for its king-in-waiting, who has sought to sideline the kingdom's arch-conservatives as he accelerates reforms, analysts say. The kingdom will issue driving licences to women from next June, in the most striking reform yet credited to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the risk of a backlash from hardliners. But after his recent crackdown on dissenters, including prominent clerics with huge followings, experts say the prince may face only a muted opposition. "The lifting of a ban... will likely serve as a litmus test for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ability to introduce economic and social reforms despite conservative opposition," said James Dorsey, a fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. "If last week's national day celebrations in which women were allowed to enter stadiums in anything to go by, the opposition is likely to be limited to protests on social media." On Saturday, women were allowed for the first time into a sports stadium to mark national day, a move that chimes with the Prince Mohammed's "Vision 2030" reform plan. Men and women also danced in the streets to drums and thumping electronic music, in scenes that were a stunning anomaly in a country known for its tight gender segregation and austere vision of Islam. This gambit to loosen social restrictions in the ultra-conservative society was made possible partly by the latest crackdown, which was seen as a show of force by Prince Mohammed, experts say. Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile in the United States, described a new Saudi era of "fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming" in an article published in The Washington Post.   - 'Assertion of power' -   Those arrests were not directly related to the driving ban, but apparently to an ongoing crisis with Gulf rival Qatar, said Jane Kinninmont from London-based Chatham House. "But the arrests represented an assertion of power over the independent, politically influential clerics and sent a message that Prince Mohammed does not see himself as beholden to them as partners in government," Kinninmont told AFP. "The fact that they have been arrested without significant unrest being triggered is likely to have made the Saudi leadership more confident that it can make (social) change without much in the way of opposition." Prince Mohammed is set to be the first millennial to occupy the throne, in a country where half the population is under 25, when he takes over from his 81-year-old father King Salman. "I think Prince Mohammed is ideologically committed to taking the Saudi state in a new direction: less austere, more nationalist," said Kristin Diwan, from the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Unlike previous rulers, he has shown a willingness to tackle entrenched Saudi taboos, and is seen as catering to the aspirations of youth with an array of entertainment options and promoting more women in the workforce. "Women should obviously have had the right to drive a long time ago -– the fact that this decision was so long in coming shows just how much has changed in Saudi Arabia with Prince Mohammed now wielding executive authority," said Perry Cammack, a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.   - 'Discriminatory practices' -   But hardliners could still emerge as a potent threat. Many Saudis on social media, irked by the mixing of genders on national day, derisively compared the country to "Las Vegas". "Patriotism does not mean sin" became a widely used hashtag, while some called for the religious police, whose powers have been curtailed in recent years, to restore moral order. The government has sought to downplay their influence, saying that most senior clerics in the kingdom "agree that Islam does not ban women from driving". But aside from religious hardliners, women also face opposition from a conservative society that is unaccustomed -- or fundamentally opposed -- to women drivers. Under the country's guardianship system, a male family member -- normally the father, husband or brother -- must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities. It was unclear whether women would require their guardian's permission to apply for a driving licence. "If by June next year women in Saudi Arabia are driving the streets without fear of arrest, then this will be a cause for celebration," said Philip Luther, from Amnesty International. "But it is just one step. We also need to see a whole range of discriminatory laws and practices swept away."


Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

repeal of women driving ban tests saudi reform drive repeal of women driving ban tests saudi reform drive

Egypt Today, egypt today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 12:15 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Egypt Today, egypt today Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano goes co-ed on the catwalk
Egypt Today, egypt today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 22:35 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 13:29 2018 Friday ,14 December

Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

GMT 21:54 2016 Wednesday ,28 September

Zambia aims to further business ties with Turkey

GMT 06:38 2015 Thursday ,24 September

Does America have the cure for high drug costs?

GMT 14:37 2014 Saturday ,29 November

Charming pool and patio furniture

GMT 13:36 2011 Monday ,26 September

A round-up of Milan Fashion Week

GMT 11:27 2016 Wednesday ,13 January

Expects oil prices to recover 2016

GMT 12:51 2015 Thursday ,18 June

Goosebump sensor reads your emotions

GMT 12:11 2017 Friday ,10 March

Australia sees second year

GMT 04:16 2017 Tuesday ,02 May

Global gold prices fall

GMT 10:18 2015 Thursday ,08 October

Energy-guzzling snow parks boom in sizzling Thailand

GMT 11:39 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

'Lego Batman' spanks 'Fifty Shades Darker' at box office

GMT 06:05 2015 Sunday ,25 October

EU and Balkans leaders hold crisis refugee summit

GMT 09:47 2019 Monday ,19 August

Live a tense atmosphere in your career

GMT 10:54 2018 Sunday ,04 November

U.S. stocks post weekly gains amid earnings

GMT 17:24 2017 Sunday ,29 January

DWE delegation visits Etihad Museum

GMT 10:47 2018 Tuesday ,04 September

Bahrain Bourse daily trading performance

GMT 14:44 2016 Tuesday ,21 June

Euro 2016: Wales Dominate Russia, Tops Group B
 Egypt Today Facebook,egypt today facebook  Egypt Today Twitter,egypt today twitter Egypt Today Rss,egypt today rss  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
egypttoday, Egypttoday, Egypttoday