>> Soon it will be women learning to drive these cars after Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued a royal decree, which promises to change the lifestyle of millions. From next year, women will be allowed to drive. A move which has seen an overwhelmingly positive reaction, however, Reuter's correspondent in Riyadh, Stephen Callan says, there's been confusion after people were told for years women shouldn't be allowed to drive.
>> So far the religious establishment, which is linked to the government, has supported this move, or been silent. We haven't heard any real critical voices, and some analyst have said that might be because of a recent crack down on Islamic clerics, which could have been to paved the way for this to keep any sort of opposition, to quiet them up for this move, which the government knew would be controversial.
>> Female rights activists have campaigned for more than 25 years to finally taking to the road petitioning the king and posting video online of themselves behind the wheel until now we meet Women who drove in the Gulf Kingdom risked being arrested and fined. The end of the religiously inspired ban should encourage more women into the work force.
>> A lot of people are viewing this, not just as a social reform, but also as an economic reform. It's gonna make it much easier for women to get to work. It's going to reduce the amount of money that families have to spend on drivers for the women in their family.
So it's being framed sort of in both of those dimensions.>> Industries from insurance to car sales are all expected to see a boost in profit, and reassure investors that Kingdom's push to diversify its economy beyond oil is on track. But the battle for equality isn't over yet with calls for male guardianship where women need permission from a male relative before traveling overseas, getting married, or seeking medical care to be abolished all together.
Women are being assured they won't need permission from a legal guardian to drive with the new rules to be implemented by June next year.