SHAFAQNA – More than 120,000 Saudi females had applied for driving license after Lifting ban on women driving as Saudi Arabia was considered as the last country on Earth to have a ban on women driving cars. The historic event is part of reforms decided by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in order to modernise the conservative kingdom.
According to Forbes Middle East, Women drivers in the Kingdom marked their first day behind the wheel with revelry and cheer after a decades long rule that prohibited females from driving came to an end on June 24. Earlier this year, the officials estimated that the country could have as much as 2,000 female drivers when the long-awaited ban lifted.
Major General Mansour Al Turki, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, noted at a press conference that the demand for a driver’s license among females “remains extremely high”. Officials are now bringing the infrastructure up to date to cope with this demand.
Saudi has opened six driving schools across the country for women while 40 female road accident investigators will be taking charge in a few weeks. No traffic offense was recorded by the new women drivers on the road on their first day of driving.
The [Persian] Gulf country’s move to allow women drivers is expected to have a bigger impact on Saudi’s economy than a much-touted listing of Saudi Aramco, experts say. Women drivers are expected to increase the demand for fuel while providing a respite to sagging automobile sales in the Kingdom.
The move is also expected to improve the participation of women in the workforce by providing them the much-needed mobility when looking for employment.
A survey by recruitment website Gulf Talent indicated that many Saudi women previously had to settle for lower pay or for positions that did not match their qualification as they were restricted by transport options.
According to consultancy firm PwC, around three million women drivers could receive their licenses and can actively begin driving by 2020. The Gulf Talent poll revealed that 82% of women plan on taking a driving license this year.
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