King Salman ordered the reform in a royal decree delivered on Tuesday night, requesting that drivers’ licences be issued to women who wanted them.

Following the decree, women will no longer need permission from a legal guardian to get a licence and will not need a guardian in the car when they drive, said the new Saudi ambassador to Washington DC, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

“I think our leadership understands our society is ready,” he told reporters.

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