Saudi prince says, 'Let women drive'; draws criticism
Los Angeles : Saudi Arabia's powerful deputy crown prince on Wednesday made a cry for women to drive cars on roads.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is trying to revive the plunging economy after slump in oil prices by suggesting more workforce on the roads.
His vision clearly resonated in Saudi Vision 2030 unveiled in April where he said, “Saudi Arabia must transform itself, and fast. Our vision is a tolerant country, with Islam as its constitution and moderation as its method."
He also indicated that the changes go hand-in-hand with social transformation in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
In a 4-page letter posted on his personal website, he argued that “it is high time that Saudi women started driving their cars,”
Find the link of the website here: http://www.alwaleed.com.sa/news-and-media/news/driving/
However, he received harsh criticism from fellow teammates and experts. Saudi analyst Ahmad Al-Ibrahim told media: "This guy is all about change. He has huge ambitions. And a Western mind-set that he wants to apply to Saudi Arabia."
Some also debated that Prince Alwaleed is not in the government and does not speak for it.
But it must be noted that he is one of the world’s wealthiest investors and enjoys a higher profile than most other Saudi royals.
Alwaleed is a noted billionaire and has been actively working in the hotel and construction industries and has extensive holdings in the United States and Europe.
Saudi Arabia’s religious police has enforced driving ban on women thus inviting protests and remarks occasionally. In last December, women were allowed to vote and run in local elections for the first time.