Saudi Arabia to let women drive

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Yemen descended into a conflict two years ago after Houthis, associated with former President Saleh, and with the support of Iran took control of capital Sanaa, forcing Hadi to flee briefly to Saudi Arabia before coming back to the country's second city of Aden. Women can not travel overseas, work or undergo some medical procedures without the consent of their male "guardian", often a father, a husband or even a son.

The royal decree lifting the no-driving ban left open the question of whether women would need a male relative's permission to obtain a driver's license.

By MONA EL-NAGGAR and ADAM BOLT on Publish Date October 15, 2016.

"We are implementing our Vision2030 initiative through which we are empowering women and youth to play a greater role in the Saudi economy and take better advantage of the increasing opportunities that result from the Kingdom's modernization and economic reform initiatives". Some Saudi women have been fined and imprisoned for daring to get behind the wheel.

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Critics worldwide say the ban is a sign of the Saudi government's oppression against women. She was arrested at the time for taking part in the actions, and later wrote a book about her experience.

But despite celebrating the success for female drivers, she said the fight for equality was far from over.

Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday issued a royal decree allowing women to drive in the kingdom. He said the ministry would print a corrected copy of the book and had formed a committee to determine the source of the mistake. Women there are forbidden to wear clothes or make-up that "show off their beauty", must limit the amount of time they spend with men who aren't family members and are not allowed to use public swimming pools.

Relations between Mogadishu and Riyadh have become strained since June this year following Somalia's refusal to side with the Saudi allies over Qatar.

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