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Saudi women, who cannot take the driver’s seat in the conservative kingdom, want to be given driving licenses at home so they can drive abroad, the English daily Arab News reported on Friday.

“I just don’t believe that women shouldn’t have driving licenses because they are not allowed to drive in the Kingdom and that when they go abroad they can hire taxis and like,” interior designer Rufaida Jamal, 24, said. “I just feel I shouldn’t be less than other women in the world.”

Saudi women are banned from driving on all public roads in the kingdom, the world’s largest crude oil exporter.

The no-drive ban, which is forcing a lot of families to hire live-in drivers, could not keep Saudi women, who make up more than 45 percent of the population, from knowing how to get behind the wheel.

“Not being able to drive in the Kingdom shouldn’t be a reason why Saudi women don’t know how to drive,” dentist Fatima Rizq, 26, said.

Saudi females are subject to a guardian system which prohibits any woman from traveling or living independently without written permission from mahram or a male guardian who could be her husband, father or brother.

Some Saudi men threw their weight behind the campaign.

“You never know what might happen,” Mostafa Ali, a 52-year-old father, said.


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