Essay On Arabyan Women

Decent Essays
The Saudi Gazette Staff and Agencies


FOURTEEN years after 47 Saudi women defied a strict ban on driving in the Kingdom, women are no nearer to getting behind the wheel on Saudi roads.

But more than women driving, the larger issue for Saudi women today is that of public transportation, especially now that they have more educational and career opportunities than ever before.

Limited mobility is discouraging many of Saudi women from seizing the new job and career opportunities opening up.

Nahla Jamal, a 30-year-old woman in Riyadh, who wanted to join an IT course to develop her computer skills and then look for a job, is one of them.

I simply decided not to go to the course because my brother was too busy to drive me to the
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For women like Jamal who cannot afford her own car, the issue is not about whether women are permitted to drive or not. All she wants is convenient, affordable and socially acceptable mobility.

Like other Saudi women who do not have personal drivers and cars, Jamal has the only other easily accessible public transport option: to use the regular street taxi service.

However, even this mode of transport has its problems. It is not socially acceptable and is considered a relatively unsafe mode of transport for women in the Kingdom, especially if they are traveling alone.

I would never be allowed to use a taxi alone, said Jamal. You hear so many stories about taxi drivers chatting up women passengers or being followed home by other cars. [See crime story on Page 6).

Other options for women include using a bus or hiring a car and driver from private companies. Bus routes do not cover residential areas, are not easily accessible to passengers and are mainly used by male, low-income expatriates.

Car hire costs a minimum of SR60 per trip that is many times costlier than regular taxis.

Brigadier General Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said that there was no particular transport project planned specifically for women. The main means of transport for women is to be driven by a male driver who is a family member or by an employed male driver or to use a limousine (taxi), said Turki.

Al-Turki noted that
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