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Saudi Arabia Becomes the Last Country in the World to Allow Women to Drive

Starting next summer, Saudi Arabian women will be allowed behind the wheel.

Just a few days after the Muslim country made headlines for allowing women into a sports stadium for the first time (to mark the 87th anniversary of the kingdom’s founding), King Salman announced on state television that Saudi women will be able to apply for driver’s licenses starting June 2018.

The change will not take effect immediately, reports The New York Times, because the kingdom currently lacks the infrastructure necessary for teaching women to drive or providing them with licenses. Moreover, male police officers will need to be trained to interact with female drivers in a conservative society where people of opposite genders rarely interact in public.

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The Times reports that a major advocate of the change was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s 32-year-old son, who recently laid out a plan to overhaul the kingdom’s economy and society—including women’s rights.

A number of activists had been advocating for the reform for some time, including Manal Al-Sharif, who helped start the most recent iteration of the Saudi women’s driving campaign in 2011 after being arrested for driving. She tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop.”

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world in which women did not have the right to drive.