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Scrapping the ban on women driving shows Mohammed bin Salman is something new

The young Saudi Crown Prince's PR coup proves political calculation in the country has changed

By Jane Kinninmont  

Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Balkis Press/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Saudi Arabia has overturned its ban on women driving—the only one in the world. For years this has been one of one of the most famous things about Saudi Arabia. Internationally it has symbolised women’s oppression and inequality in Saudi Arabia, while at home conservatives have portrayed women driving as a danger to public morality, road safety and even their own fertility. Changing this is an international PR coup for Saudi Arabia and for Mohammed bin Salman, the crown…

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