Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.

“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a religious issue, it’s a societal issue,” Adel al-Jubeir told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.

He said it was unfair to fixate on the issue of women drivers, given the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom’s efforts to educate girls.

“We went from no schools for women in 1960 to universal education, to where today 55 percent of college students are women,” said Jubeir.

“Some of our top doctors and engineers and lawyers and business people are women. The issue is one that is evolving just like it is in other countries.”

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