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Saudi Arabia begins issuing driving licences to women
05 June 2018, 08:38 | Floyd Cook
However, the government's steps to lift the driving ban for women comes a week after Saudi Arabia arrested several women who campaigned for the right to drive as well as campaigned against the country's male guardianship system.
On Monday, the General Department of Traffic began replacing women's foreign driving licenses for Saudi ones, said the official Saudi Press Agency, according to Al Jazeera.
Esraa Albuti is among the women now allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's far-reaching liberalisation drive as he seeks to modernise the conservative petro-state.
In September previous year, Riyadh removed the driving ban on women as part of reforms to undo the damage the kingdom has suffered for decades of human rights violations both inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.
They each took a driving test and eye exam before being given the documents at the General Department of Traffic in the country's capital, Riyadh. They have not only risked arrest by pushing for years for the right to drive, but have also called for an end to guardianship laws that give male relatives the final say over a woman marrying or traveling overseas.
He said the 32-year-old prince has done more than any king in the last 50 years to advance women's rights in Saudi Arabia - an effort that has required him to push back against a "very strong, conservative, reactionary part of society that has been resisting these changes for decades".
"Driving to me represents having a choice - the choice of independent movement". However, in recent weeks a number of activists who'd protested against the ban were arrested. They also "sought to recruit persons working in sensitive government posts as well as providing financial support to hostile elements overseas".
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