A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a woman to 10 lashes for breaking the county's ban on female drivers, according to Amnesty International.

The woman, identified only as Shema, was found guilty of driving in Jeddah in July.

The sentence arrives two days after the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announced that woman will be allowed to vote in the municipal elections for the first time in 2015.

He also promised to include woman in the next all-appointed consultative Shura council in 2013.

"Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car", Philip Luther, an Amnesty regional deputy director, said in an emailed statement.

"Allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement, then the king's much trumpeted 'reforms' actually amount to very little," Mr Luther said.

Two other woman are thought to be facing charges for driving, one in Jeddah and the other in al-Khobar.

Woman2Drive, which campaigns for woman to be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, says she has already lodged an appeal.

Woman2Drive has used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to try and encourage woman to try and drive in their normal lives, rather than converge in one place.