It’s been a little over a month since the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia was lifted and while we haven’t seen the mass influx of female drivers that some might have expected, the previously all-male traffic jams of Riyadh have become slightly more diverse!
120,000 women reportedly applied for licenses in advance of the lifting of the ban and the long-term economic benefits of allowing women the right to drive will be substantial. No doubt the numbers on the road will rise significantly in the months and years to come.
It has been estimated that the change in the law could create up to 50,000 new jobs in the short to medium term and, according to Bloomberg Economics, allowing Saudi women to drive could increase economic output by as much as $90bn by 2030.
Furthermore, it will of course give women greater access to employment in a country where the disparity between genders in the labour market is still considerable; only 20% of females in Saudi Arabia are economically active, far behind GCC neighbours where the average is around 42%.
With all this in mind, it is great to see that a number of the AEI ladies have already decided to brave the roads of Riyadh, including Jo, our Head of Support Services, and Finance Manager Hanin. As with everything we do and what we stand for here at AEI – our ladies are once again leading the charge in Saudi Arabia!