Saudi Arabia is slowly – but surely – starting to join the modern world in terms of gender equality

Though the kingdom is still one of the most gender segregated nations in the world, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announced that women will finally be allowed to work, study, and seek health care without needing a man’s consent.

This will allow millions of women to start employment in the private and public sector, pursue an education, and explore medical treatment without the written permission of a father, brother, husband, or son.

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The ruling comes one year after the nation broke historic barriers by holding the first election in which women were allowed to vote. A total of 20 women were elected into public office after King Abdullah granted women the rights to hold office and participate in local elections in 2011.

The country has also started edging away from oil dependency following the recent announcement of a $50 billion renewable energy plan.

Saudi Arabia plans on harnessing 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023 by constructing several wind and solar plants throughout the nation. Completion of the initiative will likely result in 700 gigawatts.

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