According to the New York Times:
Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom. The change, which will take effect in June of next year, was announced on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington.
The decision highlights the damage that the no-driving policy has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform. Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives.
Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi women’s rights advocate who filmed herself driving in 2011 and posted the footage to YouTube to protest the law, said this on Twitter: Today, the last country on earth to allow women to drive #Women2Drive#Daring2Drive we did it!