Saudi women drive legally for the first time after 30 years of protest

Women in Saudi Arabia are preparing to drive legally for the first time, after 30 years of waiting and protest.

Campaigners illegally took to the roads and comedians shamed their own Government, taking aim at the conservatives who said driving could damage ovaries and satirising sexist attitudes, CBS News reports.

But finally prospective drivers have learned how to drive in a purpose-built, female-only driving school at a Saudi Arabian women's university.

"It will change my life. It will change my family," new driver Salma Youssef told CBS News. "It's freedom."

Ms Youssef passed her driving test earlier in June, and will use her new freedom to driver herself to work and her three children to school.

But while women have won the right to drive after a long battle, it seems other areas of Saudi Arabia are not moving forward. The conservative Islamic country still forces women to get a male relative's permission to travel overseas or get married.

Campaigners who have fought for total equality are now being arrested, including Madeha Al Ajroush, who CBS News interviewed in 2014 about being able to drive.

"The car for the Saudi woman has become the symbol of wanting our voices to be heard, and our needs to be heard," she said.

Ms Al Ajroush has now been released, but others remain behind bars.