Saudi Arabia women

Saudi women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24, Director General of the Department of Traffic, Mohammed al-Bassami, said on Tuesday.

In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving — the only one of its kind in the world.

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“All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established.

“It is no secret that many women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hold driving licences from abroad,” Bassami was quoted as saying in a statement released by the government.

Bassami added that women satrting from 18 years of age and older will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license.

Driving schools for women have been set up across five cities in the conservative kingdom, and teachers will include Saudi women who obtained their licenses abroad.

Women with foreign driving licenses will be able to apply for a local one through a separate process, which will also assess their driving skills.

Saudi women have previously petitioned the government for the lifting of the ban, and even taken to the wheel in protest.

According to reports, Saudi women now no longer need male permission to start business.

But Saudi activists say social change will only be cosmetic without dismantling the kingdom’s rigid guardianship system, which requires women to seek permission from a male relative to study, travel and other activities.