In Saudi Arabia, women can finally drive

Saudi Women Gear Up For New Freedom As Driving Ban Ends Tomorrow

Saudi stocks.TASI rose almost two percent on Sunday and insurance firms made solid gains, as demand from women is expected to boost the automotive sector.

"I believe today is not just celebrating the new era of women starting to drive, it's also the birth of women in motorsport in Saudi Arabia", she said. She also was the first woman to import a Ferrari into Saudi Arabia and has taken her 458 Spider to tracks around the country for workshops and track days.

He's seen as the force behind the king's decision to lift the longstanding ban on women driving this Sunday.

While there was never explicitly a law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, a ban was enforced by police and licenses were not issued to women.

The four-minute long video features Tamtam cruising around the Orange Country with her friends in a vintage yellow Mustang convertible - like quintessential California girls.

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The end of the driving ban comes alongside Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030-an "ambitious yet achievable blueprint, which expresses our long-term goals and expectations and reflects our country's strengths and capabilities", crown prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud proclaimed online. One of the most talked about reforms in the conservative kingdom is women getting the right to drive, a right they had been denied for a long time. Sales jobs had previously been reserved for men in the highly conservative country, where unrelated men and women can not freely mix. They smile and cheer.

The state-run al-Ekhbariya says no casualties were immediately reported.

According to human rights groups, more than a dozen activists have been arrested since May, including Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent campaigner against the driving ban.

Under the system, women need the permission of their closest male relative - husband, father, brother or even son - for most facets of life, including traveling, enrolling in school and in certain cases receiving medical attention.

Ziad Daoud, Bloomberg Economics, said, "The participation of women in Saudi Arabia's labour market is poor". Many haven't had a chance to take the gender-segregated driving courses that were first offered to women only a few months ago.

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She said: "Honestly I'm so happy about this decision".

"I have freedom now to drive any time I want to drive, with income!" she enthusiastically explained, "It will help me financially, it will help me socially, it will help me to feel alive again and to go out, drive and meet people".

Women in the capital Riyadh and other cities began zipping around streets bathed in amber floodlights soon after the ban was lifted at midnight, some in cars with thumping stereo music. The ministry declined to disclose how many women had received licenses so far, saying the process is still in the early stages.

Amnesty International said lifting the ban was "a small step in the right direction", but called for an end to other practices that discriminate against women.

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