Saudi Arabia’s King Salma has issued a decree that will permit women to hold driving licenses for the very first time in their history.
The King ordered the formation of a body that will implement the rule by June 2018, making Saudi Arabia the last country in the world to permit women to drive.As at now, Saudi Arabia is the only country to specifically ban women from holding driving licenses.
The Saudi Press Agency said the decree will implement provisions of traffic regulations, as well as the issuance of driving licenses for both men and women .Women will no longer need to be granted permission by their male guardians to apply for the driving license.
This development comes after several years of pressure from the international community and internal campaigns.
The US has called the decision a huge step in the right direction.
Loujain al-Hathloul, a 27-year activist was arrested and detained for 73 days in 2014 as she tried to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates, which is a neighboring country.
The Muslim Kingdom has been greatly criticized over it treatment of women.In Saudi Arabia, women are required to have a male guardian all through their life from birth until who makes important decisions on their behalf.
Women are not allowed to leave the house unless they are accompanied by a man.They are also segregated at public gatherings and prayers and must be covered up in their hijab in public.
It was only 2015 that women were allowed to vote and be voted for in elections, and they won 19 seats in the municipal elections.