First Saudi Women Receive Driving Licenses Amid Crackdown

Posted at 12:56 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 12:56:47-04

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia has issued the first driving licenses to 10 women as it prepares to lift the world’s only ban on women driving on June 24, but the surprise move comes as a number of women who’d campaigned for the right to drive are under arrest.

The government issued a statement saying the 10 women were issued the licenses at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh, on Monday. International media weren’t present for the event.

The women took a brief driving test before receiving their licenses as they’d already held driving licenses from other countries, including the U.K., Lebanon and Canada.

The surprise move comes as four iconic Saudi women’s rights activists who’d campaigned for the right to drive remain under arrest, facing possible trial.