Saudi Arabia officially banned women from driving back in 1990, in response to a protest that saw 49 women demand their rights. They dismissed their drivers and got behind the wheels of cars in downtown Riyadh. « We just drove the car » activist Madeha al-Ajroush told NPR years later.
Today, Ajroush could celebrate all she wants since the ban has been declared lifted after so many protests. Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that women will be allowed to drive, starting June 2018, whereas it was the only country with a ban on female drivers.
The shock move generated quite a stir on social media, having worldwide celebrities and international activists celebrating. Starting with the movement’s very own leader, Madeha al-Ajroush, here are some of the reactions.
We are finally allowed to drive!!!! Congratulations to the Saudi women.
— madeha al ajroush (@madehaAlajrous) September 26, 2017
— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) September 27, 2017
Lebanese singer Elissa
Great news for all the women in Saudi Arabia. An achievement that will help their society. Drive to happiness ladies #MakeAChange
— Elissa (@elissakh) September 26, 2017
British singer Dua Lipa
A step towards equality. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/wZGGs1SpsC
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) September 26, 2017
1:2 Today was a historic day for women in Saudi Arabia as a decree was announced to lift the ban on women drivers. #SaudiArabia
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) September 27, 2017
Saudi women’s rights activists: Manal Al Sharif, Loujain Hathloul, Ms. Saffaa
You want a statement here is one: "Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop" #Women2Drive ❤️
— منال مسعود الشريف (@manal_alsharif) September 26, 2017
— لجين هذلول الهذلول (@LoujainHathloul) September 26, 2017
— Abir Ghattas (@AbirGhattas) September 26, 2017
Kuwaiti blogger and entrepreneur Ascia
To the women of Saudi-
I have no words for such a momentous occasion other than: you have won.
— Ascia (@ascia) September 27, 2017