Car handed over two weeks after women gain the right to drive
Prominent women's rights activist Sahar Hasan Nasif has been given a brand new Mustang GT to celebrate the fact female drivers are finally able to get behind the wheel in Saudi Arabia.
Nasif is a retired English literature professor, and a vocal campaigner for the right to drive. She was arrested in 2013 after she posted a video of herself driving around illegally.
The Blue Oval promised her a new Mustang after King Salman issued a decree in September 2017, officially rescinding a ban on women obtaining a licence to drive, although the new rule didn't come into effect until June 24, 2018.
The kingdom also slightly relaxed its strict guardianship laws for women, allowing them to apply for a licence without male approval, as well as drive around without a male guardian.
In celebration of the news, Nasif tweeted she looked forward to buying her a dream car: a yellow and black Mustang. After gaining widespread media attention, Ford replied saying she would get her long desired Mustang for free.
"I just love the Mustang. From the moment I rented one in California in 1999, I knew I wanted my very own Mustang,” Nasif said at the handing-over ceremony at a Ford dealership in Jeddah.
“I loved the seats, the shape, the roar [of the engine], the fact it was a convertible; I loved everything about it and still do.”
Reforms, such as granting women the right to drive and vote in municipal elections, are widely seen as part of an effort by Crown Prince Mohammed to modernise the country's economy.
Despite gaining the right to drive, Saudi women still need a male guardian to sign off when obtaining a passport, travelling outside the country, getting married, and leaving prison.