COMMENT: The harsh sentence marked the first time a legal punishment had been handed down since female activists began their campaign in June to break the taboo.
There are no written laws that restrict women from driving. Rather, the ban is simply rooted in conservative traditions and religious views that hold that giving freedom of movement to women would make them vulnerable to sin.
King Abdullah's counter-action against ultra-conservative clerics shows incredible strength on his part and is an indicator that harsh punishment for women who drive may no longer be tolerated. Then again, time will tell.