It may not seem like a big deal to Americans, but allowing women to operate a vehicle is a major happening in Saudi Arabia. It’s a big victory for women in that highly conservative country.

Women were granted the right to drive in Saudi Arabia by a royal decree issued by King Salman. Women will be able to obtain a driver’s license beginning next June.  They already could owe a vehicle, but couldn’t drive it. Some women did defy the driving ban by operating vehicles.

Saudi Arabia has strict social rules but the country is becoming more westernized as the leaders move to open up and modernize the country’s oil-dependent economy.

Some of the women in the movement to end the ban consider it a major historical decision in their country. Saudi Arabia women who had jobs had to hire a man to drive them to work.

The women in that country still do not  have complete social equality. There is a male guardian system. They must have the permission of the male guardian to travel abroad, or even to marry.

There are other lifting of restrictions in their social culture, such as allowing concerts and movies. 

It will take several more years, but that country will be much like other western nations.