It's economy, stupid! Prince Alwaleed flays quirky ban on women drivers

The Saudi prince said the ban on female drivers is an unjust rule imposed by a traditional society

Alwaleed bin Talal
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attends the traditional Saudi dance known as 'Arda', which was performed during Janadriya culture festival at Der'iya in Riyadh February 18, 2014. Reuters

Saudi Arabian royal and business tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has urged the country to lift the ban on female drivers, saying that it is now an economic necessity. Alwaleed, who is the grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, took to twitter to call for the cancellation of the ban for women to drive cars, calling it an unjust rule imposed by a traditional society,

"Preventing a woman from driving a car is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity," said the prince in his explanation for his statement, as reported by The Telegraph.

The prince also argued that the ban on female drivers has an economic impact. He said banning women from driving cars means that families have to hire divers and spend somewhat around $1,000 as his salary. The driver, who is generally a non-Saudi, has moved to the country in search of work send the money back to his own home in some other country. Replacing him with a Saudi Woman would stop the money drainage and boost the domestic economy of Saudi Arabia which is already reeling under low oil price.

The prince added that if female officers are included in the police traffic unit it will be easier to deal with events of traffic violation involving a woman.

Prince Alwaleed also said that this outrageous law cannot be defended by any religious code. "Such a ban on driving is fundamentally an infringement on a woman's rights, particularly as it continues to exist after she had won her right to an education and a salaried employment," he said, according to the news website.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive any vehicle and also forbids female citizen travelling alone without a male companion.