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Saudi Arabia final lifts ban on women drivers

by Justin King

The move represents one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman\'s social reforms,

Suadi Arabia has finally lifted its ban on female drivers, partially dialing back the government's notorious discrimination against women.

Women were allowed to begin getting behind the wheel and driving around the kingdom at midnight on Sunday.

"Now women have their freedom," said Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, who has long argued in favor of overturning the ban.

Previously, women were forced to rely on male relatives or chauffeurs to get around by car. The ban was reportedly strictly enforced in urban centers such as Riyadh, but less so in rural areas.

Despite the move, which follows just three years after women were given the right to vote, Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the worst countries in the World Economic Forum's annual Global Gender Gap Report.

"The women I spoke to said, an important step but a lot more has to follow," said DW correspondent Danny Facsar. "Several activists who were at the forefront of the movement, remain detained. The ones who have been released are not allowed to speak to the press."

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First ride with my daughter @Reem_Alwaleed while she's driving me and my grand daughters in Riyadh#SaudiWomenDriving pic.twitter.com/rXHPUx79fu

— ?????? ?? ???? (@Alwaleed_Talal) June 23, 2018