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Saudi Arabia issues its first driver's licenses to women

By Kimberly Hutcherson

Published June 21, 2018

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a strict form of Wahhabi Islam that places many restrictions on women and bans the mixing of sexes at public events. Women have been required to get the permission of a male guardian for almost every activity.

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

But on June 24, 2018, Saudi Arabia is due to end the world's only ban on women drivers.

YOUSEF DOUBISI/AFP/Getty Images

Activists have long called for this to happen and many celebrated when the Kingdom finally took action.

AMER HILABI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

A number of activists who'd protested against it were arrested.The arrests worried women's rights activists and those monitoring the social reform agenda of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

10 women receive licenses

Center for International Communication

On June 4, 2018, 20 days before the ban is scheduled to be lifted, the government issued driver's licenses to 10 women in exchange for their foreign licenses.

Driving for women is not just about driving a car; it enhances strength of character, self-confidence, and decision-making skills

Tahani Aldosemani

Assistant professor at the Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University in Al-Kharj

Some Twitter users are more skeptical of the news.