Saudi Arabia Announces It Will Lift Ban And Allow Women To Drive

A man looks at the Houthi-controlled headquarters of the Yemeni army destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa Yemen

The hashtag #SaudiWomenCanDrive quickly spread on Twitter as the decision was celebrated by women inside and outside the country alike.

Saudi Arabia's largely state-linked media is responding positively to King Salman's decision to allow women to drive beginning next summer.

Washington is a firm friend of the Saudi kingdom, but has often been embarrassed by its ally's conservative religious and social attitudes. Saudi Arabia was the only country that didn't allow women to drive and the ban of this oppressive law was welcomed by everyone from around the world.

Russian Federation says it plans to set up a new investment platform with Saudi Arabia to fund joint industrial projects particularly in the area of energy.

"We're just happy today", she added.

Saudi Arabia says it will allow women to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom. "We will continue to support Saudi Arabia in its efforts to strengthen Saudi society and the economy through reforms like this and the implementation of Saudi Vision 2030." - a statement issued by the White House.

The government no longer requires a guardian's permission for women to work - the kingdom wants to boost women in the workforce as part of an ambitious reform programme announced a year ago - but activists say many employers still demand the permission before hiring. He says Saudi Arabia will recognize driver's licenses issued to women in other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. "While there is no law formally banning female drivers, the government does not give them licenses". If Saudi women are now able to drive, certainly here in the United States we would certainly welcome that.

Sharif, a prominent Saudi activist born in the holy city of Mecca, is among the many women who had taken the driving ban head on. It was unclear whether women would require their guardian's permission to apply for a driving license.

Nauert is calling it "a great step in the right direction for that country".

But Sam in Whitechapel insisted that men are treated more harshly in Britain than women are in Saudi Arabia. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives, the New York Times reported.

The costs of acquiring a driver in Saudi Arabia incur major costs on families.

Women drivers have previously been arrested and cars have been confiscated, activists said.

Aziza Youssef told The Associated Press by phone from Riyadh that she was "really excited" about Tuesday's announcement, calling it a "good step forward for women's rights".

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