Women in Saudi Arabia will be permitted to drive in the state from June 24, ending a decades-long ban on females taking to the road.
Saudi Arabia’s director of General Department of Traffic, General Mohammed Bassami, made the announcement on Tuesday, some eight months after the plan was first announced.
The government says that any women 18 years of age and older will be able to apply for a driver’s license. A host of driving schools for women have been opened up in five cities throughout Saudi Arabia. Those teaching a generation of females to drive in the kingdom will include Saudi women with international driving licenses, Gulf News reports.
Female residents with licenses obtained abroad will be able to apply for a Saudi license through a distinct process.
The man behind the lifting of the ban is 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and it is just part of his push to open the conservative kingdom to the world, boost its economy, and reduce the nation’s reliance on oil.
Under the Prince’s Vision 2030 reform, he wants to see women account for roughly one-third of the workforce compared to the current 22 per cent. It is thought that women may be encouraged to start working if they can drive themselves rather than being forced to hire a driver.