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Saudi Prince Says It's Time For Women To Drive


For decades Saudi Arabia has rejected calls to allow women to drive.

Now the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says the ban should go. The prince has broken with long-established tradition and called for the country to allow women to drive. The billionaire prince doesn’t hold a government role but is a prominent global investor and he says that the ban infringes women’s rights, but also acts as a drag on the economy because it makes it harder for them to work.

“There are more than one million Saudi women in need of a safe means of transportation to take them to work every morning,” he wrote.

In many cases they have to hire drivers, take taxis, or rely on their husbands to get around. The situation obviously takes its toll on the national economy for it undermines the productivity of the workforce,” said Alwaleed.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal posted a letter Tuesday titled “It is High Time that Saudi Women Started Driving their Cars,” to his Twitter account. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not permitted to drive. “Preventing a woman from driving a car today is an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” he wrote.

Alwaleed went on to list financial, economic, social, religious, and political factors that women should be allowed to drive there.

But Alwaleed’s beliefs are a drastically different from the country’s deputy crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. In April, he said that he’s “not convinced about women driving,” citing social, not religious, reasons for his opinion.

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