Saudi Arabia's Director General of Traffic, Mohammed Al Bassami, announced that women will soon be joining the traffic police forces, Al Madina newspaper reported on Thursday. 

During an interview with the local newspaper, Al Bassami said a recommendation on the matter has been sent to higher authorities in the kingdom. 

The Traffic Authority now awaits a final approval by King Salman, before it can officially implement the decision.  

The statement sparked on an online frenzy

Soon after the statement was made, it went viral on social media, with thousands of tweeps celebrating the decision, even before its official implementation.

Many hailed the latest decision

"A wise decision. Hopefully, similar ones pertaining to the army and national guard forces will follow."

Others celebrated it their own way

Some women can't wait to apply

"Where do I apply?"


An exceptional year for Saudi women

The latest announcement comes months after the kingdom lifted a ban on women driving in September and during a triumphant year for Saudi women in general. 

In October, the kingdom announced that women in the country will be allowed to attend sporting events in stadiums starting next year. 

In recent months, the kingdom also took major steps to improve women's rights in the country. 

These include issuing reformed laws governing child marriage, divorce, alimony and the custody of children. 

Previous steps to improve women's rights

Saudi Arabia is often internationally criticized for its treatment of women. However, in the past few years, significant progress has been made.

Apart from dropping a long-standing ban on women driving, in recent months, the kingdom opened municipal elections to female candidates and made women's verbal consent to marriage mandatory. 

The Saudi Council also announced an amendment to laws governing travel documents, which, when approved, will give women a right to obtain a passport without male permission. 

According to a royal decree issued by King Salman in May, the kingdom's male guardianship system, which has always been seen as a hindrance to women's progress, might also be coming to end soon.