Women in Saudi Arabia granted the right to drive

Women in Saudi Arabia granted the right to drive

Campaigner Manal al-Sharif welcomed the news

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The King of Saudi Arabia has announced that the country's hugely controversial ban on women drivers is at an end.

King Salman announced the move last night (September 26), saying women who want to obtain a driving licence will be able to do so, according to The Guardian.

Previously women who wanted to drive needed permission from a guardian in order to be given a driver's licence, and needed a guardian in the car with them at all times. Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to ban women from driving.

But Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi ambassador to Washington, said this will no longer be the case.

He said: “I think our leadership understands our society is ready," but did not comment when asked about other strict laws on guardianship and the rights of women.

A committee will now be put in place which will spend 30 days organising the implementation of the decree.

Last week the country allowed women to enter sports stadiums for the first time, as the country continues to reform.

Earlier this month a preacher had been banned for saying that women's brains shrink to a quarter of the size of men's whilst shopping and that is why they shouldn't drive.

Several activists have long campaigned for females to drive, eaching a peak in 2013 when some women were arrested by police for breaking the driving ban.