Though the issuing of licenses appears to mark a step forward for Saudi Arabia, considered one of the world's most oppressive countries for women, the arrest last month of several women's rights activists ― including some who'd advocated for the right to drive ― has cast a dark shadow on the occasion.
"The General Directorate of Traffic started replacing the approved global licences with Saudi licences in preparation for the date of allowing women's driving on 24 June, 2018", the official Saudi Press Agency said.
Three women - from Wales, Canada and the United States - will train female driving instructors in Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported on Saturday.
But rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive, and some women have been imprisoned for defying the rule.
However, to boost the economy and ease worldwide criticism, Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promoted major cultural changes and allowed women to drive.
About 2,000 licences are expected to be issued for women next week, according to a statement by the ministry of information.
The women swapped their foreign licences for Saudi ones on Monday in cities across the country.
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Your contrived photo ops are absurd", another added: "How lucky that you get to do that with your children. They should not be thrown in jail and separated from the very children they are trying to save.
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That summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , will also mark Trump's first visit to Canada as president. Trump personally agreed with him previous year that it would be wrong to impose such a measure on Canada .
In Saudi Arabia, women are legally required to get approval from a male guardian for legal decisions.
They took a brief driving test and eye exam before being issued the licences at the General Department of Traffic in the capital Riyadh.
"Driving for women is not just about driving a auto; it enhances strength of character, self-confidence, and decision-making skills", she said in a statement issued by the government. Saudi women had also been banned from voting until 2015, when they were allowed to vote in local elections.
"Driving, to me, represents having a choice; the choice of independent movement, now we have that option and that's important".
Rights groups have identified numerous detainees as women campaigners for the right to drive and to end the conservative Islamic country's male guardianship system.
"If, as it appears, their detention is related exclusively to their work as human rights defenders and activists on women's issues, they should be released immediately", she said.