Saudi Arabia has passed a new law to criminalise sexual harassment, state media said on Wednesday, less than a month before the conservative kingdom lifts its decades-long ban on women driving.

The kingdom’s Shura Council, which advises the cabinet, passed a draft law on Monday which would introduce a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 Saudi riyals.

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The law has been approved by the cabinet, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

It is “a very important addition to the history of regulations in the kingdom”, Shura Council member Latifa al-Shaalan was quoted as saying in an information ministry statement.

“It fills a large legislative vacuum, and it is a deterrent,” she added.

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