Saudi women drivers to lose over a million female chauffeurs their jobs

Published:  18 Dec at 6 PM
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Over a million female foreign drivers are expected to lose their jobs and be forced to return home once Saudi women start driving.

An estimated 1.3 million expat women working as private chauffeurs for wealthy Saudi families are expected to lose their jobs and leave the kingdom after Saudi women finally get their driving licenses. Some 82 per cent of all Saudi families are believed to have employed female expat drivers as their female family members are not allowed to be in a car with a non-family male. Private chauffeurs earn around SR12,000 per year, as well as being provided with accommodation and food by their sponsors.

The original reversal of the ban on women driving has spawned even less restrictions for women drivers, with an announcement last Friday allowing women to drive trucks after guidelines and conditions are met. Amazingly, Saudi women are also to be allowed to drive motorcycles, and the formal decree will come into effect next June. In addition, there will be no discrimination or restrictions against cars with special numbers and number plates being driven by women.

Meanwhile, as Bitcoin soars ever higher, reports reveal Kuwaiti nationals are trading heavily in the cryptocurrency in spite of warnings of a massive crash. Over the past week, the value of one unit has reached an incredible $17,000, from a start at the beginning of the year of about $700. Some financial regulators and local analysts are looking for even higher unit prices as a result of Bitcoin’s incorporation into the New York and Chicago stock exchanges.

Also in Kuwait, statistics appear to have shown that 51 per cent of immigrant workers in the emirate are illiterate, some 72 per cent are working as manual labourers, and only 11.13 per cent of expats are highly qualified professionals. The figures were quoted at a forum on demographics held at Kuwait University’s College of Social Sciences, with one speaker inferring the current demographic mix is the result of governmental strategic thinking, She added there is a strong need to revise government policies on the issue.
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