Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced that it will allow women in the ultra-conservative kingdom to serve in the armed forces as it embarks on a broad programme of economic and social reforms.
The move is the latest in a series of measures aimed at increasing the rights of women in the kingdom, even as rights groups accuse Riyadh of cracking down on women activists.
Last year, Saudi Arabia authorised women to join its security forces.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has approved a handful of reforms aimed at widening women’s rights, including allowing them to drive and to travel abroad without consent from a male “guardian”.
But he has at the same time overseen the arrest of several prominent women’s rights campaigners, including activist Loujain al-Hathloul.