Saudi Arabia's King Salman made a step towards equal rights in the strict Muslim country recently by allowing women to drive. He decreed that women could finally obtain a driver's licence and gave departments 30 days to get ready for the change.

Faisal BaDughaish decided he would get his wife prepared, so that she would be able to apply the moment registrations are available. He took her to an abandoned car park and showed her the basics, but not before uploading a picture of them both grinning from ear to ear.

It quickly went viral, with tens of thousands of people liking, commenting and retweeting the post. Some people congratulated him for his progressive attitude towards women's rights in the country, while others were angry at the move and upset that he showed his wife's face.

One person wrote: "Don't you feel embarrassed or protective of her when posting her picture? Shame on you."

Another said: "Do not let your face die when you see your shame."

But there were more people expressing their delight in the new rule, with this Twitter user saying: "We are going on the road and we train our sisters until the 10th, and they are more than willing."

"A person who spreads happiness and positive energy wherever he goes and travels, God helps you, my beloved Faisal," added another.

Women driving Saudi Arabia

Credit: PA

Faisal has told Alarabiya: "Many people objected to the appearance of my wife in the picture, which is very sensitive even to me, being a conservative family, but the picture is stronger than a thousand words, and I think the message would not spread to the world if it were just words."

While there is no specific law against women driving, authorities have refused to give them driving licences for decades.

Reasons people have given to prevent women getting behind the wheel are downright absurd. Some say that a woman's face covering makes them unable to see, it could lead them to go out of the house more often (shock), it could lead to more traffic on the road and driving can be harmful to women's ovaries.

Usually women who are caught driving are fined or have to pledge they will never do it again, however a Jeddah woman in 2011 was punished with 10 lashes.

The rule change won't come into effect until June next year.

Sources: Alarabiya

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Faisal BaDughaish

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013