Feb 12 2009
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Delayed causeway deals a blow to women's driving ambitions
The $3 billion project has been reportedly delayed because of the global financial crisis and a new budget for the 40-km link. Bahraini authorities have announced they will not impose any restriction on women, regardless of their nationalities, who travel via the causeway to Qatar without a legal male guardian.
Lt. Col. Khalid Rabea Al-Senan, director of license affairs at the Ministry of Interior, was quoted as saying on state-run Bahrain Television (BTV) that women would be allowed to drive alone over the causeway to Qatar. This decision would benefit Bahraini and Saudi women who wish to travel or drive alone to Qatar.
Bahraini women cannot travel to Saudi Arabia unless accompanied by a male relative while Saudi women, when they want to visit any other Gulf state, must be accompanied by their guardians.
The commuters would include Bahraini women who expect to take jobs in Qatar. The Ministry of Labor in Bahrain has set up an unemployment office in Qatar that will improve the chances of Bahraini citizens seeking jobs in neighboring countries.
Travel time between Qatar and Bahrain will be reduced to 30 minutes once the causeway is operational. According to experts, 4,000 cars will use the causeway daily and the number is expected to increase to 12,000 by 2050.
© Arab News 2009
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