Women might be allowed to get licenses but … can’t drive

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The proposal being studied by the Shoura Council calls for the amendment of Article 36 of the traffic legislation, which is related to driver’s licenses.

The proposal being studied by the Shoura Council calls for the amendment of Article 36 of the traffic legislation, which is related to driver’s licenses.

The Shoura Council is studying a proposal to allow Saudi women to apply for international driving licenses in the Kingdom, which would allow them to drive abroad but with the ban still in place in the Kingdom.

Latifa Al-Shaalan and Haya Al-Manei, two of the 30 women members of the council, have called for the council to consider this proposal, according to a report in a local newspaper on Friday.

The two women had filed a recommendation with the council nine months ago to allow women to drive.

Article 23 of the council’s framework legislation allows members to propose new laws or amend existing ones.

Sources said the proposal calls for the amendment of Article 36 of the country’s traffic legislation, which is related to drivers’ licenses. The proposal states that a driver’s license is a right of men and women.

According to sources, the advisory administration at the Shoura is studying the new proposal, and has not yet referred it to the relevant committee, which might be the security committee.

Journalist Abdullah Al-Alami said the application is an extension of an earlier one presented by other women members of the council. “This doesn’t mean that women would be allowed to drive, it is only related to allowing women to get an international license, instead of travelling to other countries to get one,” he said.

He hoped that the advisory administration at the council would be more flexible when dealing with these demands, because it would benefit citizens.

The news comes months after several Saudi women activists defied the ban by driving in Riyadh and in various parts of the Kingdom over the past few years.

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