World

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women drivers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, the last country in the world to do so, sparking euphoria and disbelief among activists in the ultra-conservative kingdom, where social restrictions are increasingly being loosened.

The longstanding driving ban was seen internationally as a symbol of repression of women in the Gulf kingdom. The shock announcement is part of Saudi Arabia's ambitious reform push aimed at adapting to a post-oil era and improving a global reputation battered by its human rights record.

"King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud has issued a decree authorising the issuance of drivers' licences for women in the kingdom. The decree will take effect in June 2018," Saudi state TV said. - AFP

DrivingCarSaudi Arabia