For most Saudi women, it's more than just being able to drive

While there are plenty of Saudi women demanding and campaigning for their rights it is easy to assume that the only resistance to liberalization comes from men. That is simply not true

Twenty-four hours after King Salman issued a decree end the ban, the government announced that a woman had been appointed as assistant mayor of Al Khubar governorate.

"Careem welcomes the decree by Saudi Arabia that will enable women to obtain driving licences", Abdulla Elyas, the co-founder of the firm, told The National.

"Saudi Arabia allows women to drive", the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Twitter, according to Arab News.

Backwards Saudi Arabia, which treats women as little more than slaves or men's chattels, is reportedly the only country on the planet that forbids females from getting behind the wheel.

It's also the law in Saudi Arabia that every woman must have a male guardian.

The shock announcement, which risks riling religious conservatives, 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. The kingdom ultraconservateur announced on Tuesday, September 26, via State television, that he was going to remove the ban by June 2018, reports the New York Times.

Mohammed bin Salman, at 32 years old, is the country's new crown prince.

The US State Department called it a "great step in the right direction", echoing a similar comment from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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"There are 2.7 million women in Saudi that are not working today because they don't have a reliable means of transport to go to work", he said, referencing figures from the Saudi authorities.

"This is a positive step toward promoting the rights and opportunities of women in Saudi Arabia". These guardianship laws have loosened in recent years, as evidenced by women being allowed to drive without needing this permission.

As Saudi Arabia-the only country in the world that didn't allow women to drive-finallylegalizes women drivers, we take a look at the relentless efforts of a woman who fought all the odds to make it a possibility.

Government officials and clerics have previously claimed different reasons for the ban on women drivers.

"Preventing a woman from driving a vehicle is today an issue of rights similar to the one that forbade her from receiving an education or having an independent identity", Alwaleed said.

"The societal change taking place is massive in Saudi and we've seen sweeping reform measures, but none at that level".

"Having women drive has become an urgent social demand predicated upon current economic circumstances", said the prince.

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