In pictures: Saudi Arabian women celebrate driving for the first time in the kingdom

Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists. The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's wideranging reform drive to modernise the kingdom.
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A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Khobar City on her way to Kingdom of Bahrain on June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by HUSSAIN RADWAN AFP Photo credit should read HUSSAIN RADWANAFPGetty Images
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Halah Hussein Reda a newlylicensed Saudi motorist waits for the road to clear before driving out of a driveway in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah early on June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia ended its longstanding ban on women driving on June 24 2018 and the second the clock struck midnight women across the country started their engines Photo by Amer HILABI AFP Photo credit should read AMER HILABIAFPGetty Images
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A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Khobar City on her way to Kingdom of Bahrain on June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by HUSSAIN RADWAN AFP Photo credit should read HUSSAIN RADWANAFPGetty Images
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Saudi women examine cars at a showroom in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah on June 23 2018 a day before the lifting of a ban on women driving in the conservative Arab kingdom Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists Photo by Amer HILABI AFP Photo credit should read AMER HILABIAFPGetty Images
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Daniah alGhalbi a newlylicensed Saudi woman driver sits in her car during a testdrive in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah on June 23 2018 a day before the lifting of a ban on women driving in the conservative Arab kingdom Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists Photo by Amer HILABI AFP Photo credit should read AMER HILABIAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samar AlMoqren drives her car through the streets of the Saudi capital Riyadh for the first time just after midnight June 24 2018 when the law allowing women to drive took effect Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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A Saudi woman films and shows support to Samar AlMoqren L who drives her car through the streets of the Saudi capital Riyadh for the first time just after midnight June 24 2018 when the law allowing women to drive took effect Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samar AlMoqren is seen in her cars rearview mirror as she drives through Riyadh citys streets for the first time just after midnight June 24 2018 when the law allowing women to drive took effect Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samar AlMoqren drives her car through Riyadh citys streets for the first time just after midnight when the law allowing women to drive takes effect in Riyadh early June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samar AlMoqren prepares to drive her car through Riyadh citys streets for the first time just after midnight June 24 2018 when the law allowing women to drive took effect Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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Saudi woman Sabika Habib gets ready to drive her car through the streets of Khobar City on her way to Kingdom of Bahrain For the first time little after midnight the law allow women to drive on June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by HUSSAIN RADWAN AFP Photo credit should read HUSSAIN RADWANAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samira AlGhamdi is seen in her car receiving her food order from a fast food in the coastal city of Jeddah for the first time Little after midnight the law allows women to drive on June 24 2018 Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by AMER HILABI AFP Photo credit should read AMER HILABIAFPGetty Images
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Saudi Samar AlMoqren drives her car through the streets of the Saudi capital Riyadh for the first time just after midnight June 24 2018 when the law allowing women to drive took effect Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from June 24 ending the worlds only ban on female motorists a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists The move which follows a sweeping crackdown on women activists who long opposed the ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans wideranging reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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JEDDAH SAUDI ARABIA JUNE 21 A comercial advertising billboard shows two women in a car with one behind the wheel on June 21 2018 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is scheduled to lift its ban on women driving which has been in place since 1957 on June 24 The Saudi government under Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is phasing in an ongoing series of reforms to both diversify the Saudi economy and to liberalize its society The reforms also seek to empower women by restoring them basic legal rights allowing them increasing independence and encouraging their participation in the workforce Saudi Arabia is among the most conservative countries in the world and women have traditionally had much fewer rights than men Photo by Sean GallupGetty Images
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A Saudi woman uses an electronic driving simulator during a driving workshop for women in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 21 2018 The end of a decadesold female driving ban is expected to bring an economic windfall for millions of Saudi women making it easier for them to work and do business Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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JEDDAH SAUDI ARABIA JUNE 21 Young women wearing the traditional abaya walk past a sign as they help to organize an outdoor educational driving event for women on June 21 2018 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is scheduled to lift its ban on women driving which has been in place since 1957 on June 24 The Saudi government under Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is phasing in an ongoing series of reforms to both diversify the Saudi economy and to liberalize its society The reforms also seek to empower women by restoring them basic legal rights allowing them increasing independence and encouraging their participation in the workforce Saudi Arabia is among the most conservative countries in the world and women have traditionally had much fewer rights than men Photo by Sean GallupGetty Images
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JEDDAH SAUDI ARABIA JUNE 21 An instructor helps a woman who is wearing a traditional Muslim niqab to try out a car driving simulator during an outdoor educational driving event for women on June 21 2018 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is scheduled to lift its ban on women driving which has been in place since 1957 on June 24 The Saudi government under Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is phasing in an ongoing series of reforms to both diversify the Saudi economy and to liberalize its society The reforms also seek to empower women by restoring them basic legal rights allowing them increasing independence and encouraging their participation in the workforce Saudi Arabia is among the most conservative countries in the world and women have traditionally had much fewer rights than men Photo by Sean GallupGetty Images
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Saudi women attend a driving workshop for women in the Saudi capital Riyadh on June 21 2018 The end of a decadesold female driving ban is expected to bring an economic windfall for millions of Saudi women making it easier for them to work and do business Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE AFP Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINEAFPGetty Images
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