Women Can Now Drive in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia lifted its longstanding driving ban Sunday, as women drove to work, ran errands, and even drove a Formula 1 car using their newly-issued drivers’ licenses for the first time.

The lift of the ban on women driving marks a long-awaited moment for Saudi Arabia’s activists and campaigners, some of whom were imprisoned in a recent crackdown, and who have protested for decades against the world’s last remaining ban of its kind.

TIME’s Africa Bureau Chief Aryn Baker reports from Riyadh this week, alongside women who are enjoying the new freedom to drive in the country. Baker will be answering all your questions about the ban, along with other radical changes Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, in a Reddit AMA Tuesday, June 26 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

Baker has been reporting for TIME for 18 years, and on Africa and the Middle East for the past eight. She has written several stories about Saudi Arabia, and in 2011, participated in a protest drive by women fighting for their right to take the steering wheel. “Things have changed a lot since then,” Baker says, calling the lifting of the ban Sunday “a historic day not just for women, but also for a nation that is finally shrugging off antiquated ideas of what women can, and cannot do.”

Baker has also covered several other regions and issues for TIME, including women’s rights and U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Cape Town’s water crisis, and the recent award-winning year-long multimedia Finding Home project, which followed the journey of three Syrian refugee families.

The Reddit AMA will take place here from 12 p.m. ET Tuesday, where you can ask Baker anything about Saudi Arabia, how women in Riyadh are reacting to the driving reform, and anything else that makes you curious.

Source: time.com

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