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Two days ago, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that women were to have the right to vote, and then the court turned around and made the punishment of 10 lashes to a woman caught driving on her own in the city of Jeddah. To many, such actions contradicted each other greatly in the movement for female empowerment.
King Abdullah revoked the court’s sentence after being met with much indignation throughout the kingdom over the planned punishment. No official statement was made, but rather the news got out through a Tweet posted by Princess Amira al-Taweel, who happens to support the campaign for Women2Drive.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Princess’s husband, has become vocal on the issue as well, stating the ban on female drivers is questionable and downright unnecessary, as the need for chaperoning male drivers only puts ‘additional burden on households.’ Doing away with this law and allowing women to drive would push the nation forward and allow for less foreign labor.
If King Abdullah approves of doing away with the ban, Saudi Arabia’s image could be much improved.