Saudi King issues historical decree allowing women to drive

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Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the conservative kingdom.

According to the official Saudi Press Agency, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a royal decree allowing women to drive.

“Saudi Arabia allows women to drive,” the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Twitter.

“Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a historic royal decree granting driving licenses for women in the kingdom,” Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported.

However, the new rule will not take effect immediately.

The royal decree issued on Tuesday also ordered the establishment of a high-level committee of ministries of interior, finance, labor and social development.

They will be tasked with studying the arrangements to enforce the new law.

The ban is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, and the topic has been the center of extensive debate in government, media and social circles.

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Campaigners have for many years argued that women should be allowed to drive, saying that it makes virtual prisoners out of women who do not have a male family member or chauffeur to drive them around.

It should be noted that the decision comes just days after the country allowed women to enter sports stadiums for the first time.

Published on 26 September 2017

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