Saudi women are officially allowed to drive after a ban ended at midnight (Saudi Arabia time).
The Saudi government had earlier announced to end the decades-old ban in September
The Saudi government, largely under Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s leadership, had announced last September to end the decades-old ban. It started issuing driving licenses to women earlier this month.
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia was the only country left in the world where women were not allowed to drive.
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The move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive
The decision to allow women to drive, however, came after an aggressive campaign by various women’s rights groups for the right to drive last year.
The Saudi government has since arrested the activists and the detained could face trial in the Saudi counter-terrorism court and could receive heavy fines and long prison sentences, human rights group Amnesty reported.
They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women’s driving rights.
Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.