Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow women to drive from June 2018.
Women in the country have campaigned for decades to be given the right to drive and the nation’s leaders announced the long-awaited law change during a live, state television event on Tuesday and at a media event in Washington.
The New York Times reports that Saudi leaders hope the change will help to reverse the kingdom’s poor reputation, improve public relations and provide a boost to the economy.
Alwaleed said billions of dollars are being drained from the country’s economy because of the money women are forced to spend on foreign drivers.
Speaking during the media conference in Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman said women would be able to acquire a license without seeking the permission of a male guardian. Under the country’s draconian “guardianship” laws, women aren’t permitted to travel, work or undergo a range of medical procedures without the consent of a male ‘guardian’.