The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to lift its ban on women driving on June 24, and the internet is really excited about the first issuance of driver's licenses to Saudi women.
On Monday, a video of the first Saudi woman to be granted a driver's license went viral, noting a major step forward for women's rights in the Arab Kingdom. Saudi Traffic Directorate Director General Mohammed Al-Bassami announced May 8 that the ban would be lifted and that all women who are legally eligible to drive will be allowed to do so.
#WATCH: A monumental moment in the history of #SaudiArabia - a video capturing the first time a driving license has… https://t.co/LjeMYaahQI— Arab News (@Arab News)1528124231.0
The original video was posted by @saudalzman, with a caption that read: "Thousands of congratulations to the daughters of the homeland, being issued the first license in Saudi Arabia."
Last month, Saudi Arabia's General Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, assistant minister of interior for operations affairs, announced that everything is now in place for women to begin enjoying their right to drive a car.
#Saudi Arabia's General Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, assistant minister of interior for operations affairs, has s… https://t.co/SRyqtvanCQ— Al Arabiya English (@Al Arabiya English)1527543900.0
"All women who can drive will be eligible to drive and will be well-informed of all the violations so they will avoid them. I expect women's driving to be safer and that detentions will be made in very rare cases," Qahtani said in May. "Those who will drive cars are our daughters, wives and sisters, and it's our duty to remind them of rules and prevent any harm against them."
Twitter erupted with support for the new policy, which Saudi officials say benefits the state and helps to ensure the safety of women.
Congratulations are certainly in order.
@arabnews @saudalzmanan Congratulation to all Saudi women for the driving license. Take care and don’t use phone wh… https://t.co/QXr6cXxbnB— BOK (@BOK)1528143070.0
@arabnews @saudalzmanan Congratulations..to that lady to making history moment in #SaudiArabia— ilyas Sulehri (@ilyas Sulehri)1528125258.0
And the historical significance wasn't overlooked, as it serves as hope for oppressed women all over the world.
@arabnews @saudalzmanan Hoooray!! Enjoy your driving adventure to friends; family and all over! Great moments for… https://t.co/xYFFN69KiL— RoBerto PeReira 🌴 (@RoBerto PeReira 🌴)1528133516.0
There is still progress to be made in Saudi Arabia, however, including the law that requires women to wear veils in public. On Sunday, Saudi authorities released eight people who were arrested in May for protesting the country's ban on women driving.
Saudi Arabia "temporarily" frees activists who want women to be able to drive https://t.co/BEijDmYo8i https://t.co/uAwY1ImH3q— CNN (@CNN)1528081215.0
@arabnews @saudalzmanan This culture has a long way to go, but in an oppressive society like this, the smile coming… https://t.co/pCfZrfozHT— kaye_rai (@kaye_rai)1528154828.0
In a show of support, American, British, and Canadian women are stepping up to train female driving instructors.
Women from US, Canada, Wales to train female driving instructors in Saudi Arabia https://t.co/i9sKEFQRro https://t.co/eXyU6ZYgN4— Al Arabiya English (@Al Arabiya English)1528074000.0
Human rights activist Massoud Maalouf tweeted that Saudi Arabia allowing women to drive "is an important first step in the law toward achieving some sort of gender equality."
Just announced: Saudi Arabia has started issuing driver’s licenses for women!! An important first step in the long… https://t.co/oOUPGolV4S— Massoud Maalouf (@Massoud Maalouf)1528124644.0