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Women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia October 22, 2013. A conservative Saudi Arabian cleric has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom's male-only driving rules. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are barred from driving, but debate about the ban, once confined to the private sphere and social media, is increasingly spreading to public forums too. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY TRANSPORT)

Women in Saudi Arabia will soon have the right to drive, according to a royal decree issued by the country’s King Salman.

The kingdom has long been the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving, and the longstanding ban has been the subject of extensive protests in and outside the country.

In the royal decree issued on Tuesday, King Salman ordered that an ministerial body would implement the change by June 2018, following a consultation over the next 30 days.

The decree referred to the “negative consequences of not allowing women to drive the vehicle and the positive aspects of allowing it”.

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