Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive for the first time

Saudis women take a selfie picture at a Mall on December 10, 2015 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Jordan Pix/ Getty Images)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia says it will allow women to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The kingdom, which announced the change on Tuesday, was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban.

Women’s rights activists since the 1990s have been pushing for the right to drive, saying it represents their larger struggle for equal rights under the law.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency and state TV reported the news late Tuesday evening, saying a royal order was issued for both men and women to be issued drivers’ licenses. A committee will be formed to look into how to implement the new order.

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