TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -Riyadh has removed the driving ban on women as part of its recent reforms to undo the damage the ultraconservative kingdom has suffered for decades of human rights violations both inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.
"The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licenses for men and women alike," said a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.
It noted that the decree would come into force as of June 2018, and that it must "apply and adhere to the necessary Sharia standards.”
Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador told reporters that Saudi women would not need approval from their male guardian to acquire a driving license after the new rules take effect.
He added that women from Persian Gulf Cooperation Council member states, who have a driving license, would also be permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia.
Loujain al-Hathloul, a Saudi activist who was detained for 73 days in 2014 for breaking the ban, tweeted "thank God" after the announcement was made. Manal al-Sharif, who was also imprisoned for driving, tweeted that Saudi Arabia would "never be the same again," and Aziza al-Yousef called it "a development that indicates a change in women's rights." "We congratulate the nation and its women and we hope that other pending issues get resolved too."