Riyadh: A man in Saudi Arabia cancelled his wedding minutes before the ceremony after the bride's father requested him to allow his daughter to drive after marriage.
The father said his daughter should get a driving licence and a car after marriage. The groom however rejected the request and quickly left the venue leaving his family behind, Arabic daily Al-Marsd reported.
Interestingly, the groom had agreed to a dowry of 40,000 riyals (Dh39,175; $10,666) as well as letting his wife-to-be continue working after getting married. But could not agree to allowing his wife drive a car even after his relatives tried to negotiate things further.
Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women driving a fortnight ago. The decision was announced on television and also by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Saudi Arabia allows women to drive,” the ministry confirmed on Twitter.
The landmark decision to allow women to drive was hailed internationally, regionally and inside the kingdom last month.
“I am on top of the world,” Lina Almaeena, a Shoura Council member, told Arab News from Bern, Switzerland, where she is part of the official Shoura Council delegation to Switzerland.
“This historic decision and announcement is really going to make a difference in many, if not most, Saudi families. Economically, it is going to decrease the burden on families; socially it will be much better for women to have control over their lives, not always waiting for a man who is no relation to her; or being in a car alone with a stranger whose background she is not aware of.”
Almaeena said the decree allowing women to drive was part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030. It was about women’s empowerment and equal opportunities for men and women, whether in the work force or anywhere else, she said.
“These things are all connected. Women can drive and even if they are not working, they can drive their families to work or their children to school. Fathers are not always available.”