- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saudi Arabia’s sole formal advisory body, the Shura Council, is mulling whether to overturn a decades-old ban and allow women to drive.

This may be the best chance yet for women to get the right to drive.

Seven years ago, when the Shura Council last considered an overturn of the ban, all the members were men. In January, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud appointed 30 women to the board, Ynet News reports. That’s a first for the country, where tradition and religion kept women from taking on legislative roles.

The council is considering the issue again because of a petition, signed by 3,500, demanding gender equality, Ynet says. And petitioners are optimistic.

“Women in parliament is huge change,” said the author of the petition in the Ynet report. “Before they were in parliament, only men discussed the issue and missed the mark.”

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