Saudi Arabia grants domestic driving licences to women who have international ones


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Saudi Arabia on Monday issued the first driving licences to women, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. The Saudi General Traffic Directorate began to issue domestic driving licences to women who have international ones, the press release said. It is not known how many licences were issued on Monday.

In September, a royal decree repealed a ban on women driving in the kingdom. Saudi women will be allowed to begin driving from June 30.

Three women – from Wales, Canada and the United States – will train female driving instructors in Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported on Saturday. Susan Newbon, from Wales, Deborah Sherwood, a Canadian, and Norma Adrianzen, an American, will work as “senior assessors” for up to two years starting June 24.

On May 19, Saudi authorities had detained seven women’s rights advocates who campaigned for the right to drive and an end the male guardianship system. A Saudi government statement released on Saturday said that the activists had been arrested on charges that included “suspicious contact with foreign parties”, without naming them.

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