Thousands Of Saudi Women Are Signing Up For Driving Lessons For The First Time

Razan, right, sits for the first time in the driver’s seat, with her trainer Francesca Pardini, an Italian ex-race car driver, during training sponsored by Ford Motor, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.
Photo: Amr Nabil (AP Photo)

Happy motherfuckin’ International Women’s Day, friends! Here’s some wonderful news for today: Women, who will finally, legally be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia in June, are signing up for their first-ever driving lessons to prepare for the event.


“When I heard about it, I was just shocked. I was so happy. I was so excited,” a female driving student named Fatmah Almardof told Reuters, expressing her disbelief that things were finally about to change.

Driving, as Reuters points out, opens the door to nearly unparalleled mobility and independence. Now, Saudi women can get to jobs more easily without relying on anyone but themselves. This is especially important in places without good and easily accessible public transport.

As of last year, the unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia was 12.7 percent, which is about 906,552 people. About 75 percent of that figure were women, according to Al Jazeera. Hopefully, with more women mobile, that figure will drop.

Of course, women will still need to get permission from a man to travel anywhere due to the country’s very strict guardianship laws. The situation still isn’t ideal, but this is a great start.


You can watch the Reuters video below.

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Kristen Lee

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.