A prominent Saudi prince and business magnate has added his voice to the debate over women’s rights in his country, urging it to abandon its driving ban for women.
“Stop the debate,” the prince, Alwaleed bin Talal, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “It’s time for women to drive.”
In a four-page letter posted on his personal website, he argued that “it is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars,” and he couched his views in economic terms, noting that foreign drivers are typically paid 3,800 riyals, or about $1,000, a month to shuttle women around. The cost, he argued, contributes to capital outflows and strains household budgets at a time when Saudi Arabia is trying to shift its economy away from reliance on oil.
Prince Alwaleed’s statement seemed unlikely to affect policy. More info