Saudi Arabia announces it will let women drive

Saudi Arabia announces it will let women drive

The latest decree highlights how Saudi tries to reform its reputation that was damaged for not allowing the women to drive in public.

The kingdom, which announced the change on Tuesday, was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban.

Umm Ibrahim sits behind the wheel of her vehicle as she drives in Riyadh, an act that has been banned in Saudi Arabia.

Already viewed as the de facto ruler controlling all the major levers of government, from defence to the economy, the prince is seen as stamping out traces of internal dissent before any formal transfer of power from his 81-year-old father King Salman.

"Our leadership thinks that this is the right time to do this change because now in Saudi Arabia we have a young, dynamic, open society", he told reporters.

More news: NFL Week 3 sees boost in TV ratings

A woman drives a vehicle in Saudi Arabia in 2013.

Women in Saudi Arabia are now legally allowed to obtain driving licences following a decree issued by King Salman today.

"Low oil prices have limited the government jobs that many Saudis have long relied on, and the kingdom is trying to push more citizens into gainful employment, including women". For example, the police will have to be trained to interact with women in a way that they rarely do in Saudi Arabia, a society where men and women who are not related have little contact. It has 30 days to make recommendations which will be put into action in June 2018.

Prince Khaled, the ambassador, said women would not need permission from their guardians to get a license or have a guardian in the auto and would be allowed to drive anywhere in the kingdom, including the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

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