Saudi Arabia has issued its first 10 driver’s licenses to women, RTE reported Monday. The licenses come after the kingdom reversed its longstanding ban on female drivers—which many considered emblematic of the regime’s ultra-conservative domestic policies. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced last September that he would end the ban, as part of a plan to revitalize the Saudi economy, and it will be officially lifted on June 24. Prior to the crown prince’s announcement, Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that prohibited women from driving. Meanwhile, the government on Sunday released eight activists who had been jailed last week for protesting the ban—but kept nine others detained, citing confessions and “significant evidence against them.”
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