Saudi Arabia is to allow women to drive for the first time.
The ultra-conservative kingdom, which announced the change, was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative world publicity for detaining women who defied the ban.
Women’s rights activists since the 1990s have been pushing for the right to drive, saying it represents their larger struggle for equal rights under the law.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency and state TV reported the news late on Tuesday evening, saying a royal order was issued for both men and women to be issued driving licences.
A committee will be formed to look into how to implement the new order.
It represents a significant opening for women in Saudi Arabia, whose rights have steadily and slowly gained ground over the years.
Saudi women remain largely under the whim of male relatives because of guardianship laws.
But King Salman and his young son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have tested the waters, allowing women into the country’s main stadium in the capital, Riyadh, for national day celebrations this month.
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