Saudi women driving ban comes to an end

Saudi women will be allowed to drive from midnight local time after a ban comes to an end.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month. It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives. If you or anyone you know would like to get into the profession of becoming a valet or chauffeur, something you may want to look into is Valeters Insurance, to have coverage in place to protect yourself and your business as you would be dealing with other peoples’ vehicles. Companies such as i4mt who can tailor circumstances to individual customers and they pride themselves on being the cheapest valeting insurer guaranteed.

On June 5, ten women became the first female licence-holders after swapping their foreign licences for Saudi ones in cities across the country. The Saudi authorities have said they expect about 2,000 women to have received licences by the time the ban is lifted.

The lifting of the driving ban is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s programme to modernise some aspects of Saudi society.

Saudi media is saying that the end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030.

Saudi businesswoman Hind Khalid Al-Zahid told Arab News: “Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce.”

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

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“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labour market.

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