Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday issued a royal decree allowing women to drive for the first time in the kingdom, Reuters reported. A ministerial body will be formed to provide advice on the matter within 30 days, and the order will be implemented by June 30, 2018.
“The royal decree will implement the provisions of traffic regulations, including the issuance of driving licences for men and women alike,” the official Saudi Press Agency said. It said that the decree would be implemented “in accordance with Sharia” and that a majority of senior religious scholars had approved the new law.
Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters that the decision to allow women to drive was both a social and an economic reform. “I think our leadership understands our society is ready,” he added.
The envoy said that women would not need to get permission from a legal guardian for a licence, and would not need a guardian in the car when they drive.