>> From driving cars to flying planes, it seems the sky is now the limit for Saudi women. On the back of the lifting of a decades old driving ban last month, a flight school in the deeply conservative Muslim country has opened its doors to women for the first time.
Although they weren't previously barred from flying planes, women would have to travel abroad for training, making it extremely difficult. Already the academy has received hundreds of applications from women hoping to start lessons in September. Nearly 20% of its applications are from aspiring female pilots. Delalia Shah is one of the hopeful applicants.
> We are no longer living in the era where women were allowed in limited arenas. All avenues are now opened for women. If you have the appetite, you have the ability.>> It would take students three years of training to qualify as a pilot. Encouraging women into employment is part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He's trying to wean the country of its dependency on oil, and introduce social reforms. The lifting of the driving ban last month was welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new, progressive trend in Saudi Arabia. But it's been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including some against the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.