Women in Saudi Arabia have now been granted an authority to drive, ending a longstanding policy that restricted women from driving.

Saudi women would be allowed to drive “in accordance with the Islamic laws” and a high-level committee of ministers has been set up to organise the implementation of the order.

Saudi state TV said that the rollout of the changes would take until June 2018.

The decision has sparked delight and disbelief among activists in the kingdom, which was the only country in the world to ban women from driving.

The move has been welcomed by many public figures in the country who took it online.

Loujain Halthloul, a Saudi activist who was imprisoned for 72 days in the winter of 2014 for attempting to cross the UAE border into Saudi Arabia in her car, tweeted two words: “Thank God”.

Halthloul and another woman activist, Maysaa al-Amoudi, who was also detained, have been credited with successfully campaigning against the driving ban.

Manal al Sharif, who started the Women2Drive campaign in 2011, heralded the change that she saw her country going through.




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