Prince AlWaleed bin Talal announced his support for allowing women in Saudi Arabia to drive on Sunday via Twitter.

Bin Talal, nephew of King Abdullah, argued that allowing women drivers would benefit the Saudi economy and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign labor. He tweeted “(The question of) women driving will result in dispensing with at least 500,000 foreign drivers, and that has an economic and social impact for the country.” Currently, Saudi Arabia has approximately nine million foreign workers, which has prompted a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.

While it is not explicitly illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, many religious edicts are interpreted to prohibit women from gaining the local licenses required to drive. In June 2011, women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets to demand the right to drive as part of the “Women 2 Drive” campaign, posting videos and pictures of themselves behind the wheel.

Media Resources: Jezebel 4/16/2013; CNN International 4/15/2013; Reuters 4/15/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/17/2011

Arabic Muslim woman driving car wearing traditional scarf from Shutterstock

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