Saudi women driving bringing 'huge' economic, social changes - Princess Reem

Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud says employers previously discriminated against women because they struggled to find transportation.
Saudi Arabia, Women, Equality, Empowerment, Driving, Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud, Society, Change

Share

According to statistics from Bloomberg Economics, the lifting of the driving ban for women – which came into effect in June last year – could add as much as US$90 billion to economic output by 2030.

Saudi Arabia’s move to allow women to drive has had a “huge” social and economic impact on the kingdom and created new possibilities for women to contribute to their families and the wider economy, according to Princess Dr Reem Bint Mansour Al Saud.

Dr Reem is a member of Saudi Arabia’s permanent delegation to the United Nations in New York and became a UN goodwill ambassador in August 2015, becoming the first Saudi princess to receive the designation.

An Oxford graduate and Harvard-trained public policy expert, the princess specialises in economic analysis, policy design and women’s labour force participation.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Dr Reem said, “In the past, employers discriminated against hiring women in part because many women struggled with securing reliable and affordable modes of transportation.

“Economically, women struggled with minimum wage pay (SAR 3,000, or $800) that was further reduced by half to cover the cost of getting to work. Now, with the cost-of-living increase, women can make a higher financial contribution to their families.”

Additionally, Dr Reem said that the lifting of the ban “will positively drive entrepreneurship opportunities” and drive economic growth and diversification in the kingdom.

According to statistics from Bloomberg Economics, the lifting of the ban – which came into effect in June last year – could add as much as $90 billion to economic output by 2030.

Saudi women. Dr Reem added, are “very optimistic” about their role in Saudi Vision 2030.

“The vision recognises women as equal to men in contributing not only to the economy but also to social development,” she said.

“We are witnessing the realisation of the vision’s goals in supporting policies for women’s economic and career development in all the recent developments that have been happening.”

Editor's Choice

From the mag: ITU head Houlin Zhao on going beyond 5G – and why tech must be able to lift society
5G may have great transformative power. But it’s meaningless unless it can also be used to improve people’s lives, says International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.
Society on the move: Dr Nuria Oliver on how data – and mobile phones – can make the world a better place
Data can help lift up society and make the world a better place, says Dr Nuria Oliver. And a key part of that: mobile phones.
From the mag: how TRA Bahrain is creating a framework for the future
Bahrain may be the smallest nation in the Gulf. Yet its telecommunications landscape is one of the most innovative and advanced – due in no small part to the work of the Kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Most popular

Don't Miss a Story