King Salman issues a decree which will women to drive for the first time
The only country in the world that bans women from driving – may just be the last
Up until now, only men were allowed drivers licenses and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined.
There has been lots of praise for the move from inside the Saudi kingdom, and also around the world. US President Donald Trump said that it was a “positive step” towards promoting women’s rights.
In the next 30 days, a ministerial body will be set up to give advice and the royal order will be implemented by 24 June 2018.
The country’s US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, has confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and this would enable women to drive anywhere they liked.
He said that it was “an historic and big day” and “the right decision at the right time”.
For years Rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned to allow women to drive, and some women have been imprisoned for not obeying the rule.
Many families have had to employ private drivers to help transport female relatives because of the rule. Many of the kingdom’s professionals and young people will certainly welcome the change, viewing it as a step to making life in the country a bit more like life elsewhere.
Manal al-Sharif, who is a Saudi women’s rights advocate who filmed herself driving in 2011 and posted the footage to YouTube to protest the law, celebrated the announcement on Tuesday.