Change in the kingdom usually happens at a stately pace but lifting of driving ban for women was shock to the system

A rumbling war in Yemen, a festering standoff with Qatar, and a turbulent time at home: things haven’t being going well for Saudi Arabia lately.

Tuesday’s announcement that the kingdom would finally grant women the right to drive cars put a stop – for a while at least – to the cycle of bad news. In doing so, it gave women in the conservative country a jolt of empowerment that many had long demanded – and believed might never arrive.

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