Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow women to drive and issue them driving licences thereby putting an end to a long standing policy that didn’t allow women behind the wheels.
The change, which will take effect in June 2018, was announced on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington.
Saudi officials and clerics have provided numerous explanations for the ban over the years. Some said that it was inappropriate in Saudi culture for women to drive, or that male drivers would not know how to handle women in cars next to them.
Others argued that allowing women to drive would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family while one cleric claimed — with no evidence — that driving harmed women’s ovaries.