Aisha Bint Abdullah

Aisha Bint Abdullah

Journalist

One hundred female Saudis trained to maintain vehicles

Saudi women are expected to drive for the first time starting next June, So far 117 trainees have completed the 16-hour maintenance course.  They are then accredited with The Certificate of Master Trainer in the Community Training Program.

The program is organized by the General Organization for Technical and Vocational Training, in cooperation with the Jeddah International College of Excellence.

On September 26, 2017, King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz issued a royal decree allowing Saudi women to drive. The met a demand long advocated by Saudi women and was highly praised nationally and internationally.

During the course, female trainees learned about the theoretical aspects, including definition of traffic signs and their meaning. This is in addition to defensive driving and dealing with emergency cases of vehicle malfunctions while driving.

They were also introduced to identify fuel and oil indicators, diagnose vehicle breakdowns, deal with routine breakdowns, as well as examining and changing tires.

Car maintenance programs have been distributed among 10 other Training Centers in the region to facilitate availability. Each has 25 students.

According to the Director of Business Development at The College of Excellence, course fees are SR200  ($53) with morning and evening shifts to accommodate program requirements
In addition, several Universities have entered the competition for training women drivers.

Among the most prominent is Princess Nouira Bint Abdel-Rahman University in Riyadh, announcing its first Female Driving Academy.
Others following suit are: Jeddah’s King Abdel-Aziz University; Al-Almam Abdel-Rahman Al-Faisal University in Dammam;  Al-Taif University plus others.

The current percentage of car ownership in the KSA is 94%.  It is expected to reach a phenomenal 100% by allowing women to drive.  This is probably a world first.

However, a 2017 Census suggests that 3.5 families in the Kingdom own 3.3 million cars, while only 6% of families do not.

Shura Council members several times petitioned against the ban on women’s driving using media networks and movies to convey their messages.

The achievements of Women 2030 can count the Royal Decree allowing women drivers among its signature victories.

The decree forms part and parcel of a social and economic reform package in political leadership which aims to empower women toward greater freedom in the vision of Women 2030.

This includes women being allowed to establish their own businesses without a guardian’s consent, join sports courts and work in fields once only allowed to men.

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