UN Secretary-General António Guterres has commended the decision by Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive cars in the country.

In a tweet, the UN chief noted that ending the restrictions represented an “important step in the right direction.”

According to reports, women can legally obtain drivers licence without asking a male guardian for permission under the new law.

Also welcoming the announcement, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) said the lifting of ban was a milestone for women’s rights in the country.

“We received this with lots of delight; it is a very symbolic step by Saudi Arabia toward strengthening the rights of women in the country,” Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director for Arab States at UN Women, said.

He added that the UN agency would continue to explore avenues to build on the important milestone to advance the cause of women’s rights both in Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

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