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Saudi Prince writes open letter in favour of driving rights for women

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal bin-Abdulaziz al-Saud has written an open letter, which he posted on his own Twitter account, in favour of allowing women in Saudi Arabia to get their own driving license and the freedom to drive their own cars.

Although the law does not explicitly forbid women to drive their own car, it is simply impossible for them to get their driving license. Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal bin-Abdulaziz al-Saud calls this a breach of their rights. According to the statics he mentioned over 1,5 million women in Saudi Arabia currently have a job and are therefore in need of safe transportation to and from their place of work. He mentions that often public transport is not “a fully viable means for them”.

Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal bin-Abdulaziz al-Saud says the women are now often dependent on their husbands to drive them, which undermines the productivity of the workforce and takes its toll on the national economy. He adds that women could easily do things like errands themselves if they were allowed to drive.

He does add that if Saudi Arabia allows women to drive some conditions should be adhered to. Women must carry a smartphone with them, they must be acquainted with  available road assistance, they cannot drive outside the city limits and the license must be limited to driving cars and not other motor vehicles. He also proposes that women are trained in jobs especially to give other women roadside assistance, but also for when they are involved in accidents or violations due to the unsafe culture many men in Saudi Arabia hold towards women.

Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal bin-Abdulaziz al-Saud is a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, a half-nephew of all Saudi kings since. He has an estimated net worth of USD 17.4 billion and has been thrice divorced. He has two children from his first marriage to Dalal bint Saud, a daughter of King Saud.

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