A Saudi female activist who hit headlines last year for spearheading a women’s campaign to allow women to drive cars in the conservative Gulf Kingdom has resorted to court to force the traffic police to end the ban.
Manal Al Sharif filed a suit case at the court of grievances (administrative court) in the eastern region, asking for a decision to force Saudi Arabia’s traffic police to allow women to have driving licence, according to her lawyer.
It was the first case of its kind in the largest Arab economy and follows intensifying calls by women on Saudi authorities to end a long-standing ban on driving cars by females.
“The court has accepted the case filed by Manal al Sharif on the grounds there is no law in Saudi Arabia stipulating a ban on driving licences for women by the traffic police,” Abdul Rahman Al Lahim said, quoted by Alhayat newspaper.
“It is the first case in Saudi Arabia…we have based our argument in this case on the fact that the Kingdom’s constitution calls for equal treatment between men and women and an international agreement signed by Saudi Arabia ending any discrimination against women.”
Lahim said he hoped the court would issue a positive sentence, adding that this would support women’s rights.
He said the court had not yet fixed a date for hearings and expected it to issue a sentence that would end the ban on giving driving licences to women.