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Text of Saudi king's royal decree on women driving

27 September 2017

The latest decree highlights how Saudi tries to reform its reputation that was damaged for not allowing the women to drive in public.

Saudi Arabia's central bank revealed new mortgage measures aimed at galvanising the housing market as the kingdom embarks on boosting affordable homes for its citizens.

The momentum to change the policy picked up in recent years with the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king's 32-year-old son, who has laid out a far-reaching plan to overhaul the kingdom's economy and society.

This follows many years of work by activists in Saudi Arabia to draw worldwide attention to the restrictions, including driving despite the ban as an act of civil disobedience.

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Peter Maurer , the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, also participated in the ceremony. A signing session at the United Nations inched the world closer to a first-of-its-kind nuclear weapons ban.

The United States on Tuesday welcomed Saudi Arabia's decision to join the rest of the world in allowing women behind the wheel.

Some ultraconservative clerics in Saudi Arabia, who wield power and influence in the judiciary and education sectors, had warned against allowing women to drive. But some working Saudi women say hiring private drivers to get them to and from work eats up much of their pay, diminishing the incentive to work.

The decision could also have broad economic impacts, making it possible for women to get to work without a driver but also curbing the popularity of vehicle hailing apps like Uber and Careem. The committee must submit its recommendations within 30 days.

The decree, signed by King Salman and broadcast on state television, said that the "majority of senior scholars" had deemed the change legitimate under Sharia law, and ordered applicable government ministries to make whatever legal adjustments are required to implement it by next June.

Text of Saudi king's royal decree on women driving