One activist called it a “great victory”, while another said she was going to buy her “dream car”.
…The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that bans women from driving – and women are still subject to strict dress codes and gender segregation.
Until now, only men were allowed licences and women who drove in public risked being arrested and fined.
…The country’s US ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman, confirmed that women would not have to get male permission to take driving lessons, and would be able to drive anywhere they liked.
…In recent years, some members of the Saudi royal family have expressed support for ending the ban.
Last year, the government launched the Vision 2030 plan to modernise the economy – which was seen as a sign the country was moving towards reform.
…The hashtags “I am my own guardian” and “Saudi Women Can Drive” quickly gained traction on social media – but so did the hashtag “the women of my house won’t drive.”
…An estimated 800,000 chauffeurs currently ferry Saudi women around. The reason it has taken so long is the long-standing opposition from religious conservatives, who have expressed views varying from “they are too stupid to drive” to “it will lead to intolerable mingling of the sexes.”
Amazing. What a leap forward!