Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, overturning a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.
The change, which will not happen immediately, was announced on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. It highlights the damage that the policy has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.
Despite the announcement, women will not be able to drive immediately. The kingdom has no infrastructure for women to learn to drive or obtain drivers licenses.