Saudi Prince Says No Problem With Religious Authorities on WomenRiad Hamade
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he has no problem with the official religious authority on the issue of women driving.
The prince told Bloomberg the problem he’s "working to resolve is with those who distort the facts of the religious establishment so that women don’t get their complete rights granted them by Islam."
“We believe women have rights in Islam that they’ve yet to obtain,” he said in an interview on Thursday in Riyadh.
While women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from driving and require approval from a male relative to travel outside the country, the government has taken gradual steps to open new opportunities for them. Under former King Abdullah, women started working at supermarkets, lingerie stores and other retail outlets. Women were also appointed to the king’s advisory body in 2013 and participated in municipal elections for the first time last year.
"I just want to remind the world that American women had to wait long to get their right to vote. So we need time," the prince said in an earlier interview last month. "We look at citizens in general and women are half of this society and we want it to be a productive half."