Saudi Arabia has started issuing driving licences to women ahead of the repeal of its ban on female drivers. In all, ten Saudi licences were issued on Monday, all of them to women who have already obtained a driving licence abroad. The ten women “took a brief driving test and eye exam before being issued the licences at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh”, Time reports. Another 2,000 women are set to join them in the days to come after passing driving courses now offered at all-female university campuses. However, Saudi Arabia’s newly minted female drivers still face a wait to actually get on the road. The decades-long edict banning women from driving – the last law of its kind in the world – will be overturned on 24 June. The move, forcefully resisted by the kingdom’s conservative religious authorities, “is part of a much-publicised liberalisation drive launched by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he seeks to modernise the petro-state”, says The Daily Telegraph. Other reforms brought in by Bin Salman include the re-opening of public cinemas for the first time since the 1980s, the lifting of a ban on music concerts and plans to… Read full this story
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