TIME Saudi Arabia

A Saudi Prince Says It’s Finally Time to Let Women Drive

"It is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars"

A member of the Saudi royal family has broken with long-established tradition and called for the country to allow women to drive.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal posted a letter Tuesday titled “It is High Time that Saudi Women Started Driving their Cars,” to his Twitter account. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not permitted to drive.

“Preventing a woman from driving a car today is an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity,” he wrote.

Alwaleed went on to list financial, economic, social, religious, and political factors that women should be allowed to drive there.

Alwaleed wrote that allowing women to drive cars would lead to job growth, and notes that it comes as a “necessity,” not a “social luxury” as it has been in the past—writing that there’s an “urgent social demand predicated upon current economic circumstances.”

But Alwaleed’s beliefs are a drastically different from the country’s deputy crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. In April, he said that he’s “not convinced about women driving,” citing social, not religious, reasons for his opinion.

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