Saudi Arabia begins issuing driving licences to women

Saudi Arabia begins issuing driving licences to women
Saudi Arabia has issued the first driving licences to women just weeks after detaining the female activists who fought for the lifting of the ban on women drivers.
1 min read
04 June, 2018
The lifting of the ban will be actualised on June 24 [AP]
Saudi Arabia's traffic agency began issuing driving licences to women for the first time on Monday, ahead of the official lifting of the ban on female drivers later this month.

The Saudi General Traffic Directorate began trading female citizens' international licences for national ones, for women that held driving licences overseas, according to the official SPA news agency.

The exchange process is taking place in locations across the kingdom, the agency added.

The highly anticipated move to allow women to drive forms part of de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's wave of liberalising reforms granting women basic human rights in order to remodel the kingdom as a credible trading partner to international powers and firms.

The reforms have been slammed as purely cosmetic alterations to the country's image, after eleven female activists - among them women who had campaigned for the much-celebrated lifting of the driving ban and for loosening draconian guardianship laws - were detained amid a sweeping crackdown on critical voices of the authoritarian regime.