King Salman Issues Royal Decree: Women Will Drive in Saudi Arabia

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Women in Saudi Arabia are to be allowed to drive - ending a law which made the Gulf nation the only country in the world to forbid female drivers.

During a prolonged campaign by several rights groups who campaigned for the ban to be revoked, many women were arrested and jailed for taking the wheel.

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The ban has long damaged Saudi Arabia's image overseas, where it had become a symbol of the kingdom's restrictions on women. The implementation - God willing - will be from 10/10/1439 (Islamic date in June 2018) and in accordance with rules and regulations, and the completion of the necessary steps.

The kingdom has been opening more areas for women through the government's modernising reforms, which have sparked tensions with influential clerics upon whose support the ruling family relies.

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The decree said a high-level ministerial committee was being formed to study other issues that needed to be addressed for the change to take place. Women are also still required to be accompanied by a male chaperone at all times when outside the house, which includes when driving, according to the New York Daily News.

Speaking in NY on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi also told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya channel that a plan to hand over control of the country's main port to a neutral party remained blocked by the Houthis and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. For example, the police will have to be trained to interact with women in a way that they rarely do in Saudi Arabia, a society where men and women who are not related have little contact.

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The new rule will not take effect immediately.

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