Video: Police officers hand out roses to female drivers in the first few moments of the day women are allowed to drive legally in the Kingdom
Social media was abuzz early on Monday morning with videos, celebratory tweets and posts, while police officers handed out roses to female drivers on the first day women are allowed to drive legally in Saudi Arabia.
Many Saudis stayed up late until the early hours of Sunday, June 24, to mark the moment.
“I can’t believe it,” exclaimed one of the first women to drive legally in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in a video posted by a passenger on Twitter.
“This is a proud moment. Congratulations Saudi Arabia,” says a tweet sent out by another showing a female driver behind the wheel.
“I’m so proud to be a Saudi womannn!… I can’t wait see what the future holds. Never forget to always wear a seatbelt and please always stay safe!!” posted Reem Alsanea (@reemalsanea_) on Twitter.
Meanwhile, pictures of Saudi police officers giving roses to female drivers are going around on social media, too.
June 24, Sunday, marks the first day women are allowed to legally get behind the wheel of a car in the Kingdom as the longstanding ban on women driving has been lifted.
“It’s Your Big Day Girl,” posted Afraah Alkhudri in a twitter video showing a female driving a Lexus.
The end of the ban on driving of women in Saudi Arabia places the Gulf nation in step with the rest of the world.
It also represents the culmination of years of campaigning for women to be allowed to get behind the wheel.
In September, King Salman announced by royal decree lifting the ban.
Special driving schools have been set up, car showrooms are heaving with prospective female buyers, and events are being held in Riyadh to encourage new drivers.
The first group of women received their Saudi driving licences on June 4.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated that authorities then also started swapping international licences for Saudi ones in multiple locations across the kingdom, with women applicants made to undergo a “practical test”.
The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s far-reaching liberalisation drive as he seeks to modernise the kingdom.