Women in Saudi Arabia will soon be driving.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made the decision, a Saudi official confirms to CBS News. The kingdom announced the change on Tuesday. Up until then, the kingdom was the only country in the world that prevented women from operating vehicles.

The country’s Shura council was considering the issue, but King Salman made the final call, CBS News White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan reports.

Saudi Press Agency and state TV — both state-run agencies — reported the news late Tuesday night, saying a royal order was issued for both men and women to be issued drivers’ licenses.

A committee will be formed to carry out the new order.

It is a “great step in the right direction for this country,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a news briefing Tuesday.


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