As Saudi women take the wheel, UN chief hopes end of driving ban creates more opportunities for kingdom’s women and girls

Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Graphic from the Saudi Communication and Media Center on 26 September 2017 explaining that women are allowed to drive.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the lifting on Sunday of the driving ban for women in Saudi Arabia and expressed his hope that ending the prohibition will generate more new opportunities for women in the Kingdom.

A royal decree was issued in September announcing that the longstanding ban would end in June 2018. At that time, the Secretary-General and other senior UN officials said they saw the move as an important first step that could lead to increased participation of women in the job market, among other areas of public life.

Saudi Arabia ended the prohibition on women driving at midnight on 24 June.

In a statement issued Sunday by his spokesperson, Mr. Guterres paid tribute to the women of Saudi Arabia for their efforts in achieving this important legal milestone, “which should contribute to women’s economic and social mobility and the development of the country.”

“He looks forward to witnessing Saudi Arabia’s continuing journey toward substantive equality for women and girls,” said the statement.

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