Saudi Arabia eases ban on women riding bikes

Local newspaper says kingdom's religious police now allow women to ride bicycles in recreational areas.

    Saudi Arabia eases ban on women riding bikes
    King Abdullah has come under pressure from women activists demanding the right to drive in the kingdom [Getty]

    Saudi Arabia will now allow women to ride motorbikes and bicycles but only in restricted areas, a local newspaper has reported.

    The al-Yawm daily on Monday cited an unnamed official from the religious police as saying women can ride bikes in parks and recreational areas but they have to be accompanied by a male relative and dressed in the full Islamic head-to-toe abaya.

    Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving.

    Women are also banned from riding motorcycles or bicycles in public places. The newspaper didn't say what triggered the lifting of the ban.

    The official says women may not use the bikes for transportation but “only for entertainment'' and that they should shun places where young men gather “to avoid harassment.''

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.