Saudi Arabian ban on female driving lifted

But there are still some conditions...
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Women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to drive themselves, after the nation's ban on female drivers lifted over the weekend.

A royal decree issued by King Salman in September – but reportedly pushed by his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the lead up – lifted the world's last ban on women driving, but the new rules didn't come into force until Sunday, June 24.

Women won't be able to just go and get a licence, though. They'll need permission from a male guardian, as is the case when a female wants to leave the country, apply for a job, marry someone or access healthcare in Saudi Arabia.

Although the decision to allow female driving has been painted as a progressive move from a traditionally conservative nation, there are significant economic benefits to be gained from allowing 50 per cent of the population to drive.

Unsurprisingly, car manufacturers were keen to get involved in the action. Aseel Al-Hamad, Saudi Arabian Federation of Motorsport board member, drove a demonstration lap in a Renault 2012 F1 car at the 2018 French GP on Sunday to celebrate the decision.

It wasn't her first time behind the wheel of an F1 car, having become familiar with the same vehicle on June 5 at Goodwood, but the display was significant nonetheless.

"I have loved racing and motorsport from a very young age and to drive a Formula 1 car goes even beyond my dreams and what I thought was possible," said Al Hameed.

"It is a genuine honour to drive the Renault Sport Formula One Team E20 car in front of the crowds at its home Grand Prix in France. I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and spirit to dream."