The royal decree, announced live on state television Tuesday, will come into effect in June next year. A newly-formed committee will present its findings within 30 days on how the policy should be implemented.
-- Vote in local elections. In 2015 women cast ballots for the first time ever during municipal elections, a vote in which they were also allowed to campaign for public office. But female candidates weren't allowed to speak to male voters and couldn't have men and women mixing in their campaign offices.
-- Be appointed to the Consultative Council. At least 17 women were elected during the 2015 municipal vote. The late King Abdullah issued a decree in 2011 that gave women the vote and two years later, ordered that at least 20% of seats in the Consultative Council be set aside for women.
-- Play sports and compete in the Olympics. Saudi Arabia sent two women to the Olympics in 2012. In 2016 it send four.
What women in Saudi Arabia cannot do:
-- Marry, divorce, travel, get a job or have elective surgery without permission from their male guardians. Women still are beholden to restrictive guardianship laws that govern nearly every aspect of their lives. In cases where a woman's father is deceased or absent, her husband, a male relative, brother, or in some cases, even a son, must give his approval before a woman can obtain often basic entitlements.
-- Conduct certain business without a male sponsor. Women wanting to open their own business often have to call on at least two men who can testify to her character before she can be granted a loan or a license.
-- Eat at restaurants that don't have a separate designated family section. Most restaurants have a "family" section with a divider that separates families from dining near all-male parties. Women are also required to use a separate entrance to the men. It is usually a side door.