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Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive


Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said it would allow women to drive in the Kingdom, in the latest move in a string of social and economic reforms underway in the country. King Salman issued the decree, according to a royal court statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licenses for men and women. The decree orders the formation of a ministerial body to give advice on the practicalities of the edict within 30 days and to ensure the full implementation of the order by June 2018. The move was announced on television and also by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The decree referred to the “negative effects of not allowing women to drive vehicles, and the positive effects envisaged from allowing them to do so” within the context of Islamic laws. The prohibition is considered a social issue in the Kingdom, as there is no actual law or religious edict that prohibits it. For years, the topic has been the center of extensive debate in government, media and social circles.

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