Saudi Arabia isn't suddenly a feminist paradise

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The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Khaled bin Salman, says women will not need to get permission from a legal guardian to get a license nor need one in the vehicle when they drive. She went on to tweet 'today was a historic day for women in Saudi Arabia as a decree was announced to lift the ban on women drivers'.

Saudi state TV said that the rollout of the changes would take until June 2018. That women are being allowed to help support themselves right now is awfully convenient - part of careful manoeuvring by the House of Saud, which wants to ease the country toward private employment while managing the demands for social change that will bring.

Champions of the women's rights movement have a new reason to celebrate.

It is also easy in our celebrations to forget about the Indian victim of human trafficking and the way she was denied water and abused when the Saudi police found her and returned her to her sponsors' household.

The decision is also in line with the Saudi king's vision of Saudi Arabia 2030 or the National Transformation Program.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, had been widely criticised for being the only country in the world that barred female motorists, a tradition seen by rights activists as emblematic of Riyadh's repression of women.

Let's not forget #Saudi rights campaigners Loujain Hathloul & Maysaa Alamoudi who protested to end driving ban & were once jailed for it.

"The major takeaway is a P.R. win when they needed it, when you look at criticisms they have faced recently", Coogle told me.

"I think our leadership understands our society is ready", Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz said.

However, reactions from around the world pointed out that Saudi Arabia's new decree was not as progressive as the kingdom hoped it would be received.

- David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 26, 2017Breaking: Saudi Arabia to join the 20th century in June of next year.

Under the country's guardianship system, a male family member - normally the father, husband or brother - must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and other activities.

- Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) September 27, 2017There is a long struggle ahead. "I feel like no one can understand it fully but us", said Abeer Alarjani, 32, who plans to start driving lessons. After driving around the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the women were arrested, and some lost their jobs.